NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Tourists pose in front of the iconic Wall Street Bull near the New York Stock Exchange on September 16, 2013 in New York City.
(Photo: John Moore Getty Images)
NEW YORK - Turkey Day has a way of increasing investors' appetite for U.S. stocks.
In fact, investors tend to gobble up stocks and push prices higher from the end of Thanksgiving week through year's end, according to data compiled by Bespoke Investment Group.
Going back to 1945, the broad Standard & Poor's 500-stock index has posted has average gains of 1.8%, with positive returns 71% of the time in the period from Thanksgiving to year's end, Bespoke says.
And the bullish action is even better when the market is up more than 10% at Thanksgiving (which it is this year): The index is up 1.9% when the market is up big heading into Turkey Day. And since the bull market began in 2009, the S&P 500's post-Thanksgiving rally has been even bigger, with gains of 4.4% and gains 100% of the time.
"The last time the S&P 500 traded down from the end of Thanksgiving through year-end was 2005," says Bespoke co-founder Paul Hickey.
If a year-end rally materializes, it will cap off a huge year for U.S. stocks. Heading into Wednesday's trading, the S&P 500 was up more than 26%.
The gains have been driven by the Federal Reserve's easy-money policies, a recovering U.S. economy, strong price momentum and a belief that stocks are the best asset class for returns when compared with other investments, such as low-yielding bonds and cash, which is yielding zero percent interest.
So what can investors expect on the day before Thanksgiving? In years like this one with the market up big, the broad index has gained 0.3% on average and has been up 72.4% of the time.
And performance on Friday, the day after the holiday? The index has posted average gains of 0.8%.