Trick or Treat - October 3, 2018

October has a spooky reputation.

  • The Crash of 1929 and the Crash of 1987 occurred in October.

  • The S&P 500 Index1 fell 17% in October 2008 (data provided by the St. Louis Federal Reserve).

But October’s frightful reputation appears to be confined to isolated events.


Since 1970, September, not October, has been the weakest month (St. Louis Federal Reserve).

  • On average, the S&P 500 has lost 0.63% during September.

  • Its median loss: 0.25%.

October has historically posted an advance.

  • On average, the S&P 500 Index has risen 0.95%.

  • A median gain of 1.44% is the third highest monthly advance.

Midterm elections—

LPL Research takes it one step further, incorporating midterm elections.

  • The S&P 500 has recorded its best month during October when midterm elections were in progress.

  • Since 1982, the S&P 500 has lost ground only once during a midterm year.

Investor’s Corner

Long-term investors discount anomalies that surround various parts of the calendar.

While history is on our side, we can’t predict how shares may finish the month. However, October’s ghoulish reputation isn’t rooted in the long-term data.