Best/worst performing months for the S&P 500

Ranking 5-year monthly performances from worst to best

Traders have always tried to find seasonal tendencies in market performance to be able to better time the market. We have all heard about the January Effect and the adage, “sell in May and go away.”

While there are those that say market timing doesn’t work, everyone times the market whether on purpose or not, so it doesn’t hurt to look to see historical tendencies and if they are shifting.

Below ranks how the S&P 500 performed in each month over the last five years, as well as that month’s historical performance since 1950 (data provided by 

Looking back over the past five years—2009 through 2013—may seem questionable because equities were coming off of a historic low and at the beginning of a new and odd bull market. This should skew all the numbers higher but may add value because there are those that would argue that the credit crisis of 2008 was a historic and paradigm-shifting event, so performance metrics prior to it hold less value. Some seasonal tendencies held firm, others shifted. 


Ed Note: Every trading traders can listen to live, streaming squawk box commentary on coming directly from the S&P trading pits in Chicago.

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