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The Thanksgiving Trade Is Shifting, Beware of Black Friday: Hirsch

Thanksgiving is coming early this year, and so, too, is the turkey day trade. Next Thursday, November 22nd, is literally the earliest date that the holiday can fall on, given it's celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month. Traditionally, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Friday after were strong market days, as the start of the holiday season ushered in a bullish vibe, according to Jeff Hirsch, Editor-in-Chief of the Stock Trader's Almanac. But, he explains in the attached video, the trend is changing.

"What we're seeing is that the week before Thanksgiving has been stronger. The Dow has been up 15 of the past 19 years," he says. Forecasters "have shifted the seasonality where it used to be bullish right around Thanksgiving, to the period before."

Beware of Black Friday

The seasonal pattern has shifted so much that Hirsch actually warns of having too heavy a position in stocks and leaving yourself vulnerable to sell pressure on the day after Thanksgiving -- Black Friday -- even though it's a low volume, half-day of trading.

"It used to be that all of the retail people were gone so the pros were there buying up the market," Hirsch says. "But that's changed now, and there seems to be a lot of anticipating going into it, and a lot of selling on that quiet day when no one is around."

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