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August: Top Nasdaq &
Russell 2000 Month of Election Years

August is amongst the worst months of the year. It is the worst DJIA, S&P 500, Nasdaq, Russell 1000 and Russell 2000 month over the last 32 years, 1988-2019 with average declines ranging from 0.1% by Nasdaq to 1.1% by DJIA, notes Jeff Hirsch, editor, Almanac Investor.

Contributing to this poor performance since 1987; the second shortest bear market in history (45 days) caused by turmoil in Russia, the Asian currency crisis and the Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund debacle ending August 31, 1998 with the DJIA shredding 6.4% that day. DJIA dropped a record 1344.22 points for the month, off 15.1% – which is the second worst monthly percentage DJIA loss since 1950. Saddam Hussein triggered a 10.0% slide in August 1990. The best DJIA gains occurred in 1982 (11.5%) and 1984 (9.8%) as bear markets ended. Sizeable losses in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015 of over 4% on DJIA have widened Augusts’ average decline.

However, in election years since 1950, Augusts’ rankings improve: #6 DJIA, #5 S&P 500, #1 Nasdaq (since 1971), #1 Russell 1000 and #1 Russell 2000 (since 1971). This year, the market’s performance in August will likely depend heavily on how July closes and whether or not the rate of COVID-19 infection continues to accelerate which could force some areas to roll back reopenings.

Editor’s Note: Sign up today for a FREE 7-Day Trial to Almanac Investor to get a full run down of seasonal tendencies that occur throughout each month of the year in an easy-to-read calendar graphic with important economic release dates highlighted, Daily Market Probability Index bullish and bearish days, market trends around options expiration and holidays. In addition, the Monthly Vital Statistics Table combines stats for the Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq, Russell 1000 and Russell 2000 and puts them all in a single location available at the click of a mouse.

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