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“In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.” – John F Kennedy
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Heading into the last trading day before Thanksgiving (and the last day of the week for many others), equity futures are higher this morning, treasury yields are lower, and crude oil is down sharply following news that Saudi Arabia may cancel this weekend’s meeting citing disappointment with members not aboding by production quotas. There’s also a decent amount of economic data to squeeze into the day with Thursday’s holiday, and those reports include jobless claims, durable goods, and Michigan Sentiment as well as crude oil and natural gas inventories. On the earnings front, shares of NVIDIA (NVDA) are basically flat on the morning even after reporting blowout earnings last night while Deere (DE) is down 6% after dramatically lowering guidance as high-interest rates crimp the financing environment for heavy equipment.
Thanksgiving week has historically been a positive one for stocks, and that has also been true for the day before and the day after Thanksgiving. Since 1945, the S&P 500’s average daily change has been 0.03% while the median gain has been 0.05%. The scatter chart below compares the S&P 500’s performance on the day before Thanksgiving to its YTD performance heading into the week. For all years since 1945, the S&P 500’s median change on the day before Thanksgiving has been a gain of 0.27% with positive returns 74% of the time. When looking at the S&P 500’s YTD performance heading into Thanksgiving week, there has been little impact on how the market performs around Thanksgiving. As shown in the chart, while the median gain on Wednesday has been 0.27%, performance in those years when the S&P 500 was up 18% or more YTD was right around the same at 0.25% with gains 78% of the time.
Like the day before Thanksgiving, performance the day after has also been positive. For all years since 1945, the S&P 500’s average performance the day after Thanksgiving has been a gain of 0.24% with positive returns two-thirds of the time. In those years when the S&P 500 was up 18% or more YTD, the median change has been a gain of 0.20% with positive returns just 58% of the time. That also includes the two worst Fridays after Thanksgiving when the S&P 500 fell 2.27% in 2021 (remember the Omicron scare?) and 1.72% in 2009 (concerns of a debt default in Dubai).
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