US equities are kicking off July on a decidedly weak note this morning, which is something investors have not been used to seeing over the years. The chart below shows the S&P 500’s historical performance on the first trading day of each month dating back to 1928. The only two months that have historically kicked off the month on a negative note are September (-0.09%) and December (-0.02%). Every other month has tended to see gains on an average basis, and the most positive of those months has been July with an average gain of 0.40%. That’s 0.16% more than the next closest month (November). In terms of consistency, July has also been, hands down, the leader with positive returns over 70% of the time.
In recent history, July has also tended to follow the historical script. Over the last ten years, the first trading day of July has seen an average gain of 0.45% with positive returns in nine of the last ten years, including each of the last seven. There’s still time for the S&P to conform this year, but it’s not looking good this morning.