50 Stocks to Trade Next Week

Stocks have fared better when the SPX is higher going into Easter

Senior Quantitative Analyst
Mar 21, 2018 at 7:14 AM
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Next week is a four-day trading week, as markets are closed for Good Friday. In general, the week before Easter has been kind to investors. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) averages a higher return -- with a higher percent positive -- in the week before Easter, in comparison to other weeks. The two tables below show this data over the past 50 and 30 years. This week, I’ll be looking at some interesting stats involving the holiday, including individual stocks that have done especially well (or not so well) during the week before Easter.

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Long the Day Before; Short the Day After

For whatever reason, investors have bought stocks before the long weekend and then let them go the following Monday. The data below shows a substantial difference in S&P 500 performance the Thursday before Easter, and the following Monday. Over the past 50 years, the index would gain an average of 0.32% on Thursday, and was positive 64% of the time. Then, on Monday, the index averages a loss of 0.2%, with only 42% of the returns positive.

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Rest of Year After Easter

The S&P 500 is up 1.4% for 2018, which could be a good omen for stocks during the rest of the year, as long as the index remains positive through Easter Sunday. Though I’m not quite convinced that investors look at the year-to-date return through Easter as the "all-clear" signal to buy stocks, the numbers in the tables below are quite clear. When stocks have momentum through Easter, it looks to carry on for some time. Glancing at the numbers over the past 50 years, when the S&P 500 is positive through Easter, the rest of the year is positive 87% of the time, averaging a gain of almost 9%. If the index is down year-to-date on Easter Sunday, the rest of the year has been positive just half the time, averaging a slight loss.

spx iotw chart 3

Stocks to Buy or Sell Before Next Week

Why would investors target a domain name registration/internet security company the week before Easter? I’m not sure, but it seems they’ve been doing just that. Verisign (VRSN) has been positive in each of the past 10 years during the week, averaging a gain of more than 2%. Below is a list of 25 best performing S&P 500 stocks during the week of Good Friday.

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Finally, below is a list of stocks that have performed the worst during the week. Technology Hardware companies are prevalent.

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