Historic August Opens Door To Worst Month Of The Year

Posted by lplresearch

Market Blog

What a month August has been so far, with the S&P 500 Index up more than 7%, for the best August since 1984. Not to be outdone, this is the first time in history August saw two separate 6-day (or more) win streaks. Last, with one day to go, the S&P 500 has gained 16 days so far this month, for the most since 16 in April 2019. Meanwhile, it is the most up days for any August since 2003.

“Well, 2020 has laughed at many of these things, but be aware September is indeed the worst month of the year on average,” explained LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “But what caught our attention was both September and October have a negative return during election years, with October the worst month of the year. Could investors get election jitters again in 2020?”

As show in the LPL Chart of the Day, September tends to be a weak month. In fact, it is the weakest month on average since 1950. Additionally, the last two times August was up more than 5% were 1986 and 2000; the S&P 500 fell 8.5% and 5.4% in September those years.

View enlarged chart.

Breaking things down by just an election year shows that August actually tends to be strong. That obviously played out this year, but now will the weakness we usually see in September and October play out?

View enlarged chart.

Finally, after today, the S&P 500 will be up 5 consecutive months. Looking at the other years that saw a similar summer rallies, there tended to be more strength the final 4 months of the year, with only the Federal Reserve policy mistake of December 2018 blemishing this impressive track record.

View enlarged chart.

Yes, this record equity run is extremely stretched, but we would continue to use any pullbacks as an opportunity to add to longer-term core equity holdings, as the economy continues to come back quicker than most expected.


This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. Indexes are unmanaged statistical composites and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

All index and market data from FactSet and MarketWatch.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC.

Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC).

Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates.  To the extent you are receiving investment advice from a separately registered independent investment advisor that is not an LPL affiliate, please note LPL makes no representation with respect to such entity.

  • Not Insured by FDIC/NCUA or Any Other Government Agency
  • Not Bank/Credit Union Guaranteed
  • Not Bank/Credit Union Deposits or Obligations
  • May Lose Value
View All Posts