Thursday, September 29, 2011
Nervous about Stocks…
As if you needed another reason to be nervous about stocks… It's the Jewish New Year.
There's an old adage on Wall Street that goes, "Sell on Rosh Hashanah and buy on Yom Kippur." The saying highlights the seasonal weakness that typically occurs between those two Jewish holidays. It's similar to the "Sell in May and go away" maxim we hear every year.
Last night marked the start of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It also kicked off a 10-day period known as the Days of Awe. This is a period of intense reflection for people of Jewish faith, which ends on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).
The adage originated many decades ago when it was common practice for Jewish investors to sell their stocks on Rosh Hashanah so they could concentrate on their prayers without the distraction of having to worry about the stock market. They would then buy back their positions after Yom Kippur – when they could concentrate on the stock market again.
Nowadays, any weakness in the stock market during this time is likely more a matter of coincidence than it is the result of millions of Jewish investors dumping their portfolio holdings. But stocks still tend to decline during this period.
from Jeff Clark