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Sweet Moves for the Market on Passover

To all – Jews and gentiles alike – and anybody who likes a nice hot bowl of matzo ball soup, Zissen Pesach! That’s Yiddish for have a Sweet Passover. Over the years we have found that on the first full day of Passover (or the day after if it’s a weekend) have exhibited the sweetest market gains or the days surrounding this ancient celebration of the Jews’ Exodus from Egypt.

Although Passover is not an observed official market holiday, it is a holiday that is observed. This year Passover begins on next Monday evening (4/10) and lasts until the evening on Tuesday, April 18. In the table below, DJIA’s performance the three trading days before and three trading days after Passover appears. When the first full day of Passover falls in a weekend the day after is used, otherwise DJIA’s performance on the first full day of Passover is used.

Since 1971, the second and third days before have a bullish bias average gains on both days. The day before however, has an average loss of 0.02% even though there have been more advancing days than declining days. On or after the first full day of Passover, DJIA is generally positive with average gains on the day, two and three days after. Since 1997 the first day of Passover (or the first trading day after) has been up 16 of the 20 years. Since 2012, the three days before Passover have been notably weaker and could represent a new or developing trend.

With Passover landing in either late March or April right around the time the market is at or near its highs, it would not be out of the question for those that observe the holiday to take profits and square positions prior to taking any time off.