There was a lot of talk circulating in the market this week about a possible “reversal.” Not just in stocks but perhaps commodities as well. For some odd and strange reason, blame it on the stars, the moon or ocean tides the period of time surrounding Sept 22nd makes many traders a bit nervous. Back in 2009 Barron’s editor Randall Forsyth, who cites work by Paul Macrae Montgomery, wrote a bit about this phenomena and the propensity for this period of time to be tied to major market moving shifts or “reversals.” Below is his note on the subject (Source: Business Insider)
Montgomery recalls living through the October “massacres” of 1978 and 1979, the crash of 1987, the mini-crash of 1989, the 1997 Asian collapse and the Long-Term Capital Markets plunges, which started to cascade downward in late September. And while gold bullion topped in January 1980, gold stocks made their highs on Sept. 22 of that year, he adds. That date also saw the peak in many oil stocks.
Looking back farther, on Sept. 22, 1929, the Dow Jones Utility Index became the final major average to make its high before the Great Crash. And in 1873, a panic forced the New York Stock Exchange to shut down, Montgomery further details.
And who can forget 2008, when markets went into free fall in the days following the collapse of Lehman Brothers? What’s remembered less well now is the market chaos in the subsequent days after the House of Representatives initially rejected legislation that created the Trouble Asset Relief Program.
Currencies have seen historic changes around this date as well, he adds. The British pound was taken off the gold standard and was devalued a huge 28% on September 21, 1931. Exactly 54 years later, the Group of Five produced the Plaza Accord, which brought a sharp decline in the dollar and expansion of global liquidity. Black Wednesday, when Britain was forced to withdraw from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, came a few days early on Sept. 16, 1992.
I also recollect that Treasury note and bond yields made their historic highs in late September, 1981, with shorter maturities hitting 17% and long bonds reaching 15%. That marked the end of a 35-year bear bond market from the end of World War II.