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A look at October in the S&P 500

The average gain for October in the S&P 500 over the past 20 years is 1.19%, making it the fourth-best month on the calendar.

There’s a big caveat for 2020 though: Election years tend to be rough.

  • 2016 -1.94%
  • 2012 -1.98%
  • 2008 -16.94%
  • 2004 +1.4%
  • 2000 -0.49%

The only exception was Bush-Kerry in 2004 and there was little doubt about that one as Bush held a lead of 2-6 percentage points in the polling average throughout the month before the election.

Also note that Novembers after an election tend to be a bit better with the exception of 2008, when the economy was crashing and 2000 when there as a disputed election and a tech bust. Al Gore didn’t concede until December 13.

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