The S&P 500 has given up early gains and is now trading modestly lower in what has become an all too familiar pattern ever since the coronavirus entered the world stage in January. In fact, of the now seven Fridays so far in 2020, the S&P 500 has traded lower on the day six times. The one exception was the Friday heading into MLK weekend back on 1/17. Ever since then there’s been a genuine skittishness on the part of investors to add equity exposure into a 65+ hour window where markets are closed and who knows what type of headlines regarding the coronavirus will come out.
The chart below shows the S&P 500’s daily percent change in 2020 by weekday with each day of the week color-coded. It’s an admittedly small sample size, but Fridays are the only day so far this year where the S&P 500 has been down both on a median basis and more than half of the time. While Fridays have been poor for stocks, Mondays have been the best day of the week with a median gain of 0.70% and gains 80% of the time. It’s not often that people actually look forward to Mondays! Wednesdays and Thursdays haven’t been as strong for equities, but they have been even more consistent to the upside. The only down Wednesday so far in 2020 was 1/29 (-0.09%), while this past Thursday was the only down Thursday for the S&P 500 since Thanksgiving. Collectively, Tuesdays have been pretty uneventful with a median gain of just 0.01% and positive returns half of the time. On a more bullish note, though, two of the year’s three best days were Tuesdays. Start a two-week free trial to Bespoke Institutional to access our interactive economic indicators monitor and much more.