It’s (usually) the most wonderful time of the year

David Vomund
Market Pulse

Christmas is a wonderful season in more ways than one. Since our focus is on investing, I’ll stick with the markets. Here’s the good news: The days around Christmas and New Year’s Day have historically been some of the market’s best.

David Vomund

Jay Kaeppel, author of Seasonal Stock Market Trends, examined the last seven trading days of each year dating back to 1933. He found that the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 78% of the time. If you look at 10-year periods and were only invested during the last seven days, then the market rose 100% of the time. Longer periods increased the probability of a gain. Sound familiar? It should.

Of course that doesn’t ensure stocks will rise. As we enter the bullish seasonal period investors are worrying about the omicron variant, inflation, the end of quantitative easing and growth.

First is omicron. Pfizer and BioNTech said that in a recent study a third shot (the booster) neutralized the omicron variant and increased antibody protection 25 fold compared to the original two-doses. Moderna said its booster works against the omicron variant as well. It is increasingly likely that we’ll be getting booster shots year after year. Neither the omicron nor for that matter other variants that come along will be long-term negatives for the market.

Inflation has finally caught the Fed’s attention. Fed Chair Powell admitted that its policies the past two years have been wrong, especially about inflation, and interest rates need to rise. He expects three rate increases next year and two each in 2023 and 2024. Maybe that will be enough to beat inflation down toward 2%. No one knows for sure.

Investors are also focused on the economy and profits, both of which are looking good although omicron will have an impact. The Atlanta Fed, which leads the way in macroeconomic forecasting, expects GDP growth in the fourth quarter to be nearly 10% as businesses reopen, people spend and domestic travel picks up. The pace will fall next year. It must.

As we enter the bullish seasonal period the market has mixed messages: Stock investors may be spooked by omicron but the strength in utilities and homebuilders show that investors still expect economic growth. At the same time bond investors have yet to react to rising inflation and fears of rising rates. They expect a slowing economy and maybe even a recession. Who will be right? Me (I hope) so keep reading this column.

David Vomund is an Incline Village-based Independent Investment Advisor. Information is found at or by calling 775-832-8555. Clients hold the positions mentioned in this article. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial advisor before purchasing any security.

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