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Trad­ing on Fri­day the 13th can be fright­ful

The Arizona Republic - - America’s Markets - Adam Shell

In­vestors who suf­fer from triskaideka­pho­bia or paraske­v­ideka­tri­a­pho­bia might want to tread care­fully when trad­ing on Fri­day the 13th.

It’s a one-two pho­bic punch. Triskaideka­pho­bia is the fear of the num­ber 13. Paraske­v­ideka­tri­a­pho­bia is the fear of Fri­day the 13th.

What’s the mar­ket con­nec­tion? The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 stock in­dex per­forms worse on Fri­days that end in 13 than it does on ev­ery other Fri­day. Since 1928, there have been 152 Fri­day the 13ths. And the S&P 500 has posted av­er­age daily gains of 0.02%, lower than the 0.05% gain for the 4,466 Fri­days from 1928 to 2016, ac­cord­ing to Ryan Det­rick, se­nior mar­ket strate­gist for LPL Fi­nan­cial, who penned a re­port, Fri­day the 13th in Oc­to­ber? Oh No! If you an­nu­al­ize those gains, Fri­day the 13th looks even worse, with a 4.2% gain vs. 12.8% for all Fri­days.

If that’s not enough to give an in­vestor pause, Det­rick’s anal­y­sis shows that the two worst “Fri­day the 13th” daily re­turns for the S&P 500 took place in Oc­to­ber: a 3.8% drop in 1933 and a 6.1% drub­bing in 1989.

Det­rick sums up the cal­en­dar quirk this way: “Un­less you break a mir­ror or see a black cat on Fri­day, we aren’t in any way say­ing one day mat­ters more or less than another. Still, wouldn’t you know it — Fri­day the 13th tends to be a weak day on av­er­age, but tak­ing it a step fur­ther, this day does even worse dur­ing Oc­to­ber. You can’t make this stuff up. Happy Fri­day the 13th ev­ery­one.”

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