Goldman Sachs Says Don’t Get Excited About a January Stock Bump

January 6, 2017, 2:25 PM UTC
Indonesian stocks are displayed in the gallery at the Jakarta stock exchange on September 18, 2015. The US central bank's decision to hold off hiking interest rates sent emerging market currencies and most Asian markets advancing on September 18, as concerns eased over an outflow of cash as the global economy suffers a painful slowdown. AFP PHOTO / Bay ISMOYO (Photo credit should read BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images)
Bay Ismoyo—AFP/Getty Images

Investors have historically looked toward January as a bullish month for stock markets.

But that bull is dead—and has been dead for the past 15 years, according to a team of Goldman Sachs analysts. “The effect has diminished over time, with little evidence of it in the past 15 years,” the team led by Lilia Peytavin wrote in a Thursday note to clients, referring to U.K. and U.S. equity markets.

Since 1999, the European equity markets have fallen an average of 0.5% in January against an increase of 0.2% across all months. The analysts also noted that the S&P 500 is more likely to underperform European equities in January when its valuation appear stretched at the end of the previous year.

And December valuations seem somewhat stretched, with major U.S. indexes reaching new highs since Donald Trump was elected president.


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