Tuesday, October 9, 2012

John Lennon and stock market turning points

It was 72 years ago today that John Winston Lennon was born in Liverpool, England.  In 1960, he formed the Beatles and the group went on to set sales and Billboard chart records that stand to this day.  Its hard to dispute the wide influence of the Beatles and John Lennon on popular music and culture, from fashion to hairstyles–and even the popularity of transcendental meditation after the group’s sojourn in India with guru Maharishi Yogi.
But stocks?  Oddly, enough, John Lennon’s birthday has lined up with big turning points in the stock market in the past 10 years.  The bear market following the bursting of the tech bubble in 2000 bottomed on October 9, 2002.  Stock averages hit their bull market peak five years later on October 9, 2007.  Here we are five years later, so should we expect this date to be a turning point?
Mark Hulbert of the Hulbert Financial Digest wrote an interesting column on Tuesday pointing out that there was nothing statistically significant about stock market bull-bear turning points (there have been 69 of them in the past century) occurring on the same date twice.   Even the month of October, with 9 of those 69 turning points, versus an average of 5.75 for other months, does not stand out as a statistically significant harbinger of trend change, despite its reputation as a bear killer, and as a month for big crashes.

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