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Aug 05 2023

Delayed Reckoning?

  • Aug 5, 2023

The month of October gets all the “love,” but since 1990, August has been the cruelest month for stocks. We point this out because calendar patterns lately seem to explain this market better than just about anything else. In 2022, big losses in stocks and bonds arrived right on schedule—during a time of Jewish sabbatical (the Shmita Year).

Jul 07 2023

Factor Tilt Update—June 2023

  • Jul 7, 2023

This Leuthold Refresh updates our Factor Tilt analysis, an ongoing process to evaluate the attractiveness of commonly accepted investment styles. Factors are investment characteristics that have historically produced excess risk-adjusted returns, but relative results fluctuate over time.

Mar 07 2023

Times Are Still Tough For “Timing”

  • Mar 7, 2023

YTD, passive strategies are again ahead of most attempts at timing, though we still believe that asset allocation success over the next several years will require much more use of the latter.

Feb 07 2023

Irrationality Is Back, Right On Schedule

  • Feb 7, 2023

The hostile monetary backdrop makes recent stock market exuberance even more irrational than in early 2021. Yet, this is the middle of a seasonal window that historically boasts an elevated level of craziness: It is the year preceding a presidential election—a time when monetary and fiscal stimulus are ramped up. 

Dec 07 2022

“The Streak” Is In Jeopardy…

  • Dec 7, 2022

With less than a month to go, our hypothetical All Asset, No Authority (AANA) Portfolio seems likely to beat the S&P 500 on an annual basis for the first time since 2011. However, it’s doubtful that many real-world, institutional multi-asset portfolios were as heavily exposed as AANA to the best-performing assets—commodities and gold.

Oct 07 2022

Seasonal Nightmare Ending?

  • Oct 7, 2022

We’ve reminded dejected readers throughout 2022 that this year was statistically “cursed” from the onset. It’s a year ending in “2” and a Shmita year on the Jewish calendar, both of which have been associated with far below average stock market returns. More importantly, it’s a midterm election year, traditionally the weakest of the four-year cycle.

Dec 23 2021

Can Santa Cap-Off A Stellar Year?

  • Dec 23, 2021

The S&P 500 is flirting with new all-time highs, and the news gets even better for followers of seasonal patterns: The Santa Claus rally has yet to officially begin!

Nov 05 2021

Seasonality Of A Different Sort

  • Nov 5, 2021

In the June 2018 Green Book, we noted that stocks have shown a fairly reliable correlation with a calendar of an entirely different sort: the solunar calendar. It turns out that the days that our $9.95 “iSolunar” iPhone app predicts to be good ones for fishing (based entirely on phases of the moon) are the same days that stocks have enjoyed the largest average gains!   

Nov 05 2021

It’s That Time Of Year…

  • Nov 5, 2021

October’s nearly +7% S&P 500 surge was impressive, but came a month early—according to the traditional seasonal cycle—which turned bullish on November 1st, and will remain intact for the next six months.

Dec 18 2019

A Small Cap Strategy Session

  • Dec 18, 2019

Leuthold’s research team has recently flagged a number of items that suggest it may be time to consider small cap stocks. This asset class has been showing signs of life and the decision to overweight small caps is starting to seem relevant – and perhaps nicely profitable - again.

Nov 07 2019

VLT Complicates The Market Puzzle

  • Nov 7, 2019

At October’s close, a long-term BUY signal was triggered on the Russell 2000. The fact that some market segments are triggering “oversold BUYS” when blue chips are at record highs speaks volumes about the internal disparities that have developed during the last few years. The Russell BUY signal is not inconsistent with our belief that the action since the January 2018 peak remains part of a lengthy cyclical topping process.

May 07 2019

Sell *Beta* In May

  • May 7, 2019

The six-month stretch beginning in May generally coincides with a narrow stock market in which non-cyclical and low volatility stocks tend to be the winners. Hence, don’t “sell” in May, but rather, tilt away from beta and away from “breadth.” These seasonal switching strategies have 70% batting averages.

Dec 07 2018

Bull Pause, Or Bear Paws?

  • Dec 7, 2018

The old maxim says that when the bears have Thanksgiving, the bulls have Christmas.

Nov 09 2018

Have We Already Had The Year-End Rally?

  • Nov 9, 2018

In the March Green Book, we discussed the long history of stock market difficulties during mid-term election years. Incredibly, nine of the past 11 cyclical bear market lows have occurred in these years, with eight of those nine recorded during the seasonally-weak months of May through October (Table 1).

Oct 05 2018

Seasonality Set To Favor The Bulls

  • Oct 5, 2018

Our bearish stance could be tested by the arrival of the seasonally strongest six-month window of the four-year electoral cycle. Since 1926, November of the mid-term year through April of the pre-election year has produced an average un-annualized S&P 500 +16.4% total return.

Aug 17 2018

Stock Market Defies Seasonal Gravity

  • Aug 17, 2018

“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger” might be a good motto for this never-ending bull market. The bull continues to shrug off the effects of both Quantitative Tightening and an escalating trade war, and it’s doing so during a seasonal stretch in which many of its predecessors have sunk to their knees (if not their demise).

Dec 07 2017

Seasonality And Market Breadth

  • Dec 7, 2017

While the FANGs—and, lately, the Dow stocks—are the market’s undisputed leaders, it’s difficult to argue the market has narrowed in a fashion that’s indicative of a “distribution” phase.

Aug 05 2017

VLT Goes “Quiet”

  • Aug 5, 2017

Last year’s “low-risk” BUY signals from our Very Long Term (VLT) Momentum algorithm have proven very profitable, but enough time has elapsed that they should no longer be considered an important bullish factor.

May 05 2017

Small Cap Seasonality

  • May 5, 2017

We’ve seen several pundits’ analyses of the “Sell In May” phenomenon of late, but none of them has addressed the most salient feature of this anomaly, which is that it’s historically been a predominantly Small Cap phenomenon.

Oct 07 2016

How To Beat The S&P 500 With The S&P 500

  • Oct 7, 2016

While 2016 is shaping up to be one of the most difficult years ever (on a relative basis) for active equity managers, one cannot blame the usual culprit of “narrow” market participation.

Sep 08 2016

EM: The Case For Waiting...

  • Sep 8, 2016

We’ve mentioned that concerns over potential seasonal weakness in September and October seem pronounced this year, perhaps because the year has so far turned out a pleasant surprise following its horrendous start.

May 06 2016

Sell In May: Statistical Update

  • May 6, 2016

If this year’s interest in the “Sell In May” phenomenon is any indication, there remains plenty of skepticism surrounding the market’s recent rebound. The good news is that the “Sell In May” play has been weakest during presidential election years.

Oct 07 2015

Year-End Rebound?

  • Oct 7, 2015

We reviewed 100 years of evidence for the Dow Jones Industrials Average and found no compelling evidence for a “bounce” effect. Contrary to expectations, fourth quarter Dow performance has (on average) been stronger when the index has already booked a gain through the first nine months.

May 08 2015

It’s That Time Of The Year

  • May 8, 2015

Seasonality rests one rung above witchcraft in the pecking order of respected analytical techniques, yet our studies haven’t been able to refute its validity. We simply don’t understand why calendar phenomena that have persisted for decades should still be around.

Nov 07 2014

A Game Of ‘What If?’

  • Nov 7, 2014

Considering the Major Trend improvement, new bull market highs (Nov. 6th) on the S&P 500, DJIA, and DJ Transports, we present a list of talking points we’d use if forced to make a bullish stock market case.

Aug 07 2014

The Worst Of The “Window” Is Upon Us

  • Aug 7, 2014

Three months ago, our “Of Special Interest” section reviewed the historically pronounced effect of the well-known “Sell In May” phenomenon during mid-term years of the presidential election cycle.

May 07 2014

A Quick Take On Time Cycles

  • May 7, 2014

We stop short of embracing any sort of fixed stock market time cycle, but it's statistically difficult to discredit certain calendar patterns.

May 07 2014

Sell in May

  • May 7, 2014

This does not only apply to stocks, it applies to just about all risky assets.

Sep 10 2013

Market Internals: The Good And The Bad

  • Sep 10, 2013

Leadership isn’t warning of impending weakness in either the U.S. economy or the stock market. Market breadth, on the other hand, is highlighting risks that aren’t evident when inspecting leadership alone.

May 01 2013

What To Sell, If Selling In May

  • May 1, 2013

Those inclined to sell in May should sell Small Caps. If you don’t have Small Caps, sell Cyclicals, at least for the next six months.

May 05 2007

Sell In May: Reformulated For The Fully-Invested

  • May 5, 2007

While the “Sell in May” market phenomenon has become part of Wall Street lore, the sector implications of this seasonal pattern are less well-known.

Feb 05 2006

February 1st: Investors' Groundhog Day

  • Feb 5, 2006

We wondered whether or not strong relative sector price action during January tended to persist for the remaining eleven months of the year. During the last 16 years, evidence proves that the strength does persist.

Feb 05 2005

Is January Performance Predictive?

  • Feb 5, 2005

A look at the January barometer, indicates there is not much evidence that a weak January market portends weak performance in the remainder of the year.

Dec 05 2004

January Effect: Now Tends To Arrive In December

  • Dec 5, 2004

The January effect still lives… just comes a month earlier in December.

Oct 05 2003

Into The Home Stretch…..2003

  • Oct 5, 2003

Octophobia 2003…..The stock market has nothing to fear but fear itself. The financial system is awash in liquidity, the economy stronger than anticipated and investor confidence is returning.

Jan 05 2003

The Year That Was

  • Jan 5, 2003

Remain bullish on the stock market, but don’t expect Main Street to be a major stock market factor in 2003. Today’s bull market expectations for the DJIA, S&P, and NASDAQ.

Feb 05 2002

A Disappointing Start

  • Feb 5, 2002

The “seasonals” were with us, but have yet to produce positive results. “V” shaped economic recovery conviction stronger than a month ago.

Jan 04 2002

....The Year That Was

  • Jan 4, 2002

Looking Back: The best thing about 2001 is that it is over. Looking Forward: The seasons are with us as January is statistically the strongest month of the year.

Apr 03 2001

April Is The "Opportunity" Month

  • Apr 3, 2001

Bear market broadened out in late March to include other than technology sectors. Never before have so many lost so much.…There is plenty of blame to go around. Academia, The Street, the Media, the “Experts” to name a few.

Feb 03 1999

Big Caps Hot Out Of The Starting Blocks

  • Feb 3, 1999

It’s no secret that the term “January Effect” has taken on a different meaning in recent years. Once a reference to the price bounce that underperforming small caps stocks receive as year end selling pressures dissipate, it has now been adopted by commentators to describe the unconstrained rally of large cap stocks, as the seasonal flood of cash pouring into big cap growth funds is invested