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Looking Ahead After 7 Consecutive Positive Months at Trader’s Narrative

This is a guest post by Wayne Whaley (CTA):

Men Who Can Be Right and Sit Tight Are Uncommon.
Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

The S&P 500 has officially closed the month of September up by 3.68%. A few weeks ago I shared some statistics on the significance of a positive September: When September Flexes It’s Muscle.

To summarize my previous comments: September has a deservedly bad reputation. Since 1950 it has been the weakest month of the year, averaging a return of -0.61% with losses occurring 57% of the time.

Therefore, the market’s ability to buck this bearish seasonal trend in September should be respected and viewed as a sign of continuing strength. When September is positive, fourth quarter returns are positive 84% of the time with an an average gain of 4.84% over that time frame.

Only two of those 25 fourth quarters saw the market down more than 1%. Even “The Mother of all Crash Months” October was positive after positive Septembers 60% of the time for an average gain of 1%.

So now that we have a rare positive September, what now?

This is especially interesting since this September was the 7th consecutive positive month for the S&P 500 index. The inclination is to play contrarian and view this move as a sign of overextension. But, as Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friend”. The odds for an eighth positive month are 12-2.

Here is the full data for similar past instances of such “overextension”:

S&P500 returns after 7 positive months

As you can see from the historical data, there is no mean reversion. Instead, stock prices continue their trajectory and tack on even more gains. The sweet spot is 6 months ahead, which from here would take us to February 2010, with a gain of about 8% (and 93% positive returns).

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11 Responses to “Looking Ahead After 7 Consecutive Positive Months”  

  1. 1 tradeking13

    I think earnings (and revenue) reports and macro-economic data will have more say in where the market is headed than what happened when the market was up 7 mos. in a row a handful of occurrences in the past.

    This analysis reminds me of when sports commentators say that such and such team hasn’t won a game against some other team (usually in college football with teams that don’t play often) since 1977, like it actually means something for the game the teams are about to play.

  2. 2 hotairmail

    I’m looking at a chart of the spx. June looks like quite a down month. Am I mad?

  3. 3 Babak

    tradeking, it is basically seasonality analysis.

    hotairmail, lol, you’re right, it looks like June was a smidgen negative. I’ll ask Wayne or maybe he’ll chime in here.

  4. 4 wayne

    Feb 735.09
    Mar 797.87
    Apr 872.81
    May 919.14
    Jun 919.32
    Jun 987.47
    Aug 1020.62
    Sep 1057.08

    Taken from Prophet, let me know if you find out ow. Ill try to double check somewhere else. There was a selloff in mid June, but mkt ended month about where it startedDow may have ow as well.


    It is very possible that you are correct, but know one really has a lock on future earnings. Tape readers argue that the tape can give you a clue to what the fundamentals will be. It is certainly not a science. We will see how it turns out.

  5. 5 hotairmail

    Sorry guys - just checked on Google. Your figures tally. June was up 0.08!

    Never question the Wayne.

    (and I am mad)

  6. 6 wayne

    thx hotairmail for the data validation.

    I don’t have the luxury of a data integrity employee to validate databases or a marketing dept to edit post. I do have occasional data and grammar gaffes.
    For example, “but know one really has a lock” should have read “but no one really has a lock”.

    following up on my earnings comment

    I have never seen a study that shows that earnings can be used to predict the stock market and I have actually spent some time trying to simulate such. I have seen the reverse, where the market can predict earnings. I wish I could recall the source, ( I want to say it was Ned Davis Research) but I once read a very insightful study, that showed even if you had perfect knowledge of future earnings reports and bought when earnings were improving and sold when earnings were declining, you still couldn’t beat the market, because the market has a discounting mechanism inherent in it’s nature. The buy the rumor-sell the fact phenomena.

    The ability of earnings to substantially defy consensus ‘estimates’ does have some impact, as estimates are an indication of sentiment. Earnings season is always interesting, but difficult for most to trade. If you can, congratulations.

  7. 7 Dave


    Unfortunately, we didn’t get the 5% Sept that would have made a qualitative difference in 4th Q.

    Remember, i wrote “Think yesterday was just a hiccup. We have a belch ahead of us at the end of the month & a barf in mid-Oct.”

    I wrote the following on October 1, 2009 12:13 PM EST

    1) one thing that has impressed me about this “pullback” since 9/23 is the follow-thru selling; 2) the DJTA is really weak vis-a-vis 50E & falling below previous breakout highs; 3) No one has mentioned that last week we had a reversal week; 4) At the beginning of a decline TRIN should be high representing smart money & at the end representing dumb money; 5) Despite being down 5 of the past 6 days (”seasonally end-of-the-month strong) we’re not oversold on daily indicators. (as of Oct 1 mid-day)

    Since you’re a CTA, can i reach you thru the CFTC ?


  8. 8 Dave


    “…a qualitative difference in 4th Q.”

    It does not necessarily mean that the cyclical bull mkt is over (primarily because of the upturn in & rising 200d & 150d). It does mean that the intensity of the remaining cyclical bull mkt is waning.

    However, bears looking to trade corrective moves cannot take much comfort either because of the shallow, choppy prolonged trading range ahead. Bears best trades (risk-adjusted) will have to wait til the cyclical bull is over and we get a cyclical bear within the secular bear mkt.

  9. 9 wayne


    I don’t think we will be up Oct , Nov, Dec. But everyone I know is looking for a down Oct and end of the year rally, Just seems to scripted to happen.

    I keep a daily trading diary. You would be surprised to know that I have been short more days this year than long, but am up substantially for the year. Have hit my share of the 3% days.
    I have no trading positions going into Monday.

    Im not going to spend all my time defending the bullish case, but I think our retierment portfolios, etc, should be leaning to the long side for reasons I have documented.

    I dont discuss short term stuff much because it simply doesn’t make for as interesing conversation.

  10. 10 Dave


    Since you’re a CTA, can i reach you thru the CFTC ?

  11. 11 wayne

    ask Babak for my email address,
    not sure I want to share with the world

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