Do You Believe in a Santa Claus…Rally?

You may not believe in Santa Claus but what about a Santa Claus rally?

The market theory developed years ago by my friend Yale Hirsch of Stock Trader’s Almanac presumes that the market tends to rise at the end of the year as an influx of funds come into the market as people try to complete trades and make adjustments for tax purposes, receive year-end bonuses, etc.

Whether the work of the jolly man from the North Pole or not, what is true is that stock markets have historically performed well in December. Going back 20 years, the S&P 500 and the Dow are up 1.79 percent and 1.69 percent, respectively, on average during December. In fact, the S&P 500 has posted negative performance during December only four times during the last 20 years; six times for the Dow.

According to a Marketwatch story from last year, the average return for all non-December months since 1896 is 0.5 percent. Overall, December ranks as the third-best performing month for markets behind June and July.

Historically, the Santa Claus rally spans the last five trading days of the year and the first two of the next, according to the Stock Trader’s Almanac. But this year Santa came early. As of market close on Wednesday, the S&P 500 was up 4.63 percent for the month, and the Dow was up 4.1 percent. Will the strong month continue?

With consumer sentiment more positive than it’s been in years and clarity coming from Washington regarding the Bush tax cuts and unemployment benefits, we believe the market’s momentum should continue through the Christmas holiday and into the New Year.

588 0
Latest Stories

India is now the elephant in the room

New economic numbers from India, the latest forecasts for the country's voracious appetite for gold, iron ore and in particular coal and its plans for a sovereign wealth fund to look at mining deals abroad mean that the GVK-Rinehart tie-up could be the first of many.

Keystone oil sands pipeline ‘absolutely’ will happen

TransCanada CEO Russ Girling, told the EnergyNow program airing on Sunday that the proposed $7 billion, 3,190km Keystone XL pipeline connecting Alberta’s oil sands to refineries on the US Gulf Coast is “absolutely” going to happen and the show quotes US Energy Secretary Steven Chu as saying "having Canada as a supplier of our oil is much more comforting than to have other countries supply our oil.” The oil sands industry feeding Keystone XL has tripled in size since 1995 and the US government estimates that Canada may double its current output of heavy crude by the end of this decade. Canada currently pumps 2 million barrels per day to the US, with more than half coming from the oil sands. A final decision on Keystone XL by US President Obama is expected before the end of the year.

Industry must live with tax: Rio Tinto

The Daily Mercury reports Rio Tinto executive director Sam Walsh says the mining industry has to live with the new resources tax as the best deal that could be done with the current government. The final tax rate had been reduced from 40% to an effective 22.5% rate in the minerals resource rent tax (MRRT), he told the meeting organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia. At a breakfast meeting in Perth on Tuesday, Mr Walsh defended his company's role in closing the tax deal, saying junior miners left out of final negotiations now have a chance to have their concerns heard. On top of the MMRT, Australian miners also have to contend with a proposed carbon tax set to kick in mid-2012.


India coal deal takes Rinehart a step closer to $100 billion personal fortune

India infrastructure giant GVK on Saturday said it would pay $1.3 billion for Australia's Hancock Prospecting coal, rail and port projects and spend a further $10 billion developing them as it lines up energy supplies for upcoming power plants. Hancock's owner and richest woman in the world, Georgina Hope Rinehart will join GVK Power's board and retain a 21% stake in the mines. Rinehart, 57, is predicted to become the world’s richest person as the coal projects and Hancock's massive 100%-owned iron ore mines start producing by 2014 and earn her annual profits of as much as $10 billion. The so-called queen of iron ore who inherited a debt-ridden mining company from her father 20 years ago had already doubled her wealth from 2010 before Saturday's deal.

Gold gains in India on Saturday but charts point to $1,700

Both gold and silver gained on the bullion market on Saturday as bargain hunters returned to the market. While gold surged by Rs 420 to Rs 28,160 per 10 grams, silver went up by Rs 1,100 to Rs 64,400 per kg. Trading sentiment in Mumbai improved after gold rose the most in a week on Friday in New York. However, many analysts say the gold price could continue to weaken into next week possibly going as low as $1,700/oz as indicated by technical chart patterns that have turned bearish, investors turning to riskier assets like shares, the dollar gains further and concerted efforts to shore up Europe's banks may begin to show fruit. Volatility in the gold market is increasing and the gap between gold’s highs and lows this year, have reached more than $600, the largest since the 1960s.

Deal to build the world’s richest coal mine collapses

The China Post reports Mongolia's National Security Council has rejected a deal struck with foreign firms to develop the western block of Tavan Tolgoi in the South Gobi desert, the world’s largest deposit of high-quality coking coal used in steelmaking. Metallurgical coal has been trading at record levels of $330/tonne this year and the news is a blow to US mining giant Peabody Energy, China's Shenhua and a Russian-Mongolian consortium that were announced as winners in July. At the time the losing bidders from Brazil, India and South Korea were smarting and Japan went so far as to call the bidding process 'extremely regrettable'. Mongolia was hoping to privatize its Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi coal-mining company which controls the remainder of the 6 billion tonne resource for $3 billion next year.

Iron ore probe judge says exports eat away India’s national wealth

Sify reports rampant extraction of iron ore for export was steadily eating away India's national wealth, retired Supreme Court judge M.B. Shah, who heads a commission probing illegal mining in several states, said Saturday. Justice Shah is probing unlawful mining in Goa, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. His team has been camping in Goa for the last two days – visiting mining leases, interviewing bureaucrats and inspecting documents, related to the more than 100 operational iron ore mines in the state. Justice Shah, who heads the nine-member commission, would be submitting a comprehensive report on the Goa mining scandal to the central government within 45 days.

Wales rescue workers find fourth miner dead

South Wales Chief Constable Peter Vaughan called the unfortunate outcome of the search-and-rescue operation on Friday “the one that none of us wanted,” because police had held out hope of finding some of the miners alive. It is Britain’s worst fatal mining accident in years. Officials do not know what caused the accident at the Gleision Colliery near Swansea, in south Wales, an area once synonymous with coal mining, but where the industry all but disappeared since Britain’s labor strife of the 1980s.

China number two coal producer closes mine after fatalities

Xinhua News reports the mining operations of China National Coal in Shaanxi Province, the country's coal heartland, were ordered suspended after eight miners were confirmed dead in a colliery flooding on Saturday. Officials said the flooding exposed "serious problems" in the implementation of safety measures and the company would only resume operations after an overhaul. State-owned ChinaCoal is the country's second largest coal producer at 154 million tonnes/year. Due to a paucity of gas and oil China relies on coal for 70% of its energy needs and government analysts expect annual coal demand to reach at least 4 billion metric tons by 2020 even after taking into account unprecedented levels of investment in nuclear, wind, solar, and hydro. Official statistics show the death rate per million metric tons of coal produced stood at 2.63 in 2010.