« S&P 500 Higher or Lower? | Main | All or Nothing Days on the Rise »
Thursday
May242012

Memorial Day Market Returns

With only a few hours left until traders who haven't already done so kick off the Memorial Day weekend, we wanted to highlight how the S&P 500 has historically performed in the first unofficial week of Summer going back to 1971 when the holiday was federally designated as the last Monday in May.  The table below summarizes the returns of the S&P 500 in the month of May leading up to Memorial Day as well as its subsequent return during the holiday shortened Memorial Day week.  As shown, the S&P 500 has historically averaged a gain of 0.68% during Memorial Day week with positive returns 63.4% of the time.  In the last two years, however, Memorial Day week has been uncharacteristically negative, with declines in excess of 2% each year.

We also grouped the performance of the S&P 500 during Memorial Day week based on how the market performed during the month of May leading up to the holiday weekend.  When the S&P 500 has been down during the month of May leading up to Memorial Day weekend, the index has averaged a gain of 0.79% during Memorial Day week with positive returns 63.2% of the time.  When the S&P 500 has been up during the month of May leading up to Memorial Day weekend, the index has averaged a gain of 0.59% with positive returns 63.6% of the time.  Based on these results, there is a slight tendency for the market to perform better during Memorial Day week when the index is down on the month leading up to the holiday weekend than the other way around.  Enjoy the weekend!

Subscribe to Bespoke Premium to receive more in-depth research from Bespoke.