Reading the April Tea Leaves After a Rough Start for Stocks

Since 2012, the SPX tends to end the month of April on the opposite side of where it ended the first trading session

Apr 3, 2017 at 5:04 PM
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U.S. stocks kicked off the month and the quarter on a sour note, with the S&P 500 Index (SPX) dropping 0.2%. But is today's negative session ominous for the rest of April? Not necessarily, according to stock market data compiled by Schaeffer's Quantitative Analyst Chris Prybal.

Prybal looked into how stocks tend to perform the rest of the month, depending on the first trading day of April. When the SPX started April in the red, as it has done five other times since 2000, the index still managed to eke out a gain of 1.02% for the month, on average. Coincidentally, the last two negative opening trading days for April occurred in odd years, too -- 2013 and 2015. In those years, the SPX ended the month in positive territory.

SPX April performance after loss on first trading day


When the SPX started April with an up day, as it has done 12 times since 2000, the index went on to average a monthly gain of 1.33%, though it's unusual in that the last three times April started strong the S&P ended the month lower. So, while it's a small sample size, it's interesting that since 2012, the SPX tends to end the month of April on the opposite side of where it ended the first trading session.

SPX April returns after first day of trading gain


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