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We made it through Friday the 13th and now what?

By Dian Vujovich

Although it doesn’t come along all that often, Friday the 13th can be a spooky day for those who believe the day together with that number translate into bad luck. As it turns out, yes, Friday was no super day for our markets. But, there’s always Monday.

Incase you missed it, Friday the market indices closed in negative territory. The Dow was down nearly 49 points, NASDAQ off 14, and the
S&P 500 down about 6.5. Gold also closed lower. Oil too. So you might say the 13th wasn’t exactly a great day for investors unless, of course, their bets were of the shorting type.

According to SeekingAlpha.com, dial back to 1945 and you’ll find that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has enjoyed an average daily percentage gain of three basis points, (0.03 percent); on Friday’s the average daily gain has been six basis points, (0.06 percent); and on Friday the 13th, eight basis points (0.08 percent) with positive returns happening 59 percent of the time. This past Friday the 13th’s performance will impact those averages.

With that date behind us, that same source pointed out that so far this year, the S&P 500 was up 2.25 percent, year-to-date. Not bad for nine days worth of trading.

Comparing the performance of that U.S. market index to markets around the world, of the 78 countries reviewed, the US ranked 24th. The average for all 78 countries was a positive 1.13 percent with 63 percent enjoying positive returns so far this year while 37 percent had showings in the red.

The three countries with the worst declines year-to-date include Greece, down 5.21 percent, Jamaica, down 3.99 percent, and Pakistan off 2.94 percent.

Taking top performance honors is Argentina—up 11.26 percent. Behind it, the Philippines, up. 5.53 percent followed by Singapore ahead 5.49 percent.

Although it’s anybody’s guess about how the rest of the year will wind up, investment pros have long known that last year’s underperformers often do well the following year. With that in mind, the BRICs didn’t perform well in 2011 but that’s all changed this year so far—even though so far isn’t very far.

Performance of the BRICs beginning with the best returns thus far look like this: India up 4.53 percent, Russia ahead 4.15 percent, Brazil up 4.15 percent and China up 2.05 percent.

For a complete listing of how country stock markets have performed year-to-date visit: http://tinyurl.com/754gza8 .
(Or: seekingalpha.com/article/319568-stock-market-returns-by-country-so-far-in-2012?ifp=0&source=email_authors_alerts)

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