The Nasdaq 100 is currently up just under 10% so far in the third quarter (up 9.92% as of this morning). The current gain would be the best Q3 for the index since 2013, and if it eclipses +10.63%, it will be the best Q3 since 2010.
Below is a table showing the performance of the Nasdaq 100 in Q3 since the index’s inception in 1986. For each year, we also include the index’s YTD change at the end of Q3 as well as its change in Q4. Of the 31 years since 1986, the Nasdaq 100 has been up in the third quarter 21 times for a median change of +5.19%. In Q4, however, its median change has been even stronger at +6.35%.
We’ve shaded years based on performance in Q3 and YTD through Q3 to see how the index performed in Q4. Years shaded in dark green were up in the third quarter and also up YTD through the third quarter. In these years (which includes 2016), the Nasdaq 100 has seen a median gain of 6.21% in Q4. That’s pretty much right where the median for all Q4s has been. Light green shaded years saw gains in Q3, but the index was still down YTD through Q3. In these years, the median Q4 change has been low at just +2.72%. Light red shaded years saw declines in Q3 but were up YTD through Q3. Only two years (1986 and 1988) fit this criteria, and in both years Q4 was relatively flat. Finally, dark red shaded years saw declines in Q3 and were down YTD through Q3. Surprisingly, in these years where the Nasdaq has had a rough time through the first three quarters of the year, the index has posted the biggest median gains in Q4 at +11.56%.