Stock Trader's Almanac 2012

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A time-tested guide to stock trading market cycles

Published every year since 1968, the Stock Trader's Almanac is a practical investment tool with a wealth of information organized in calendar format. Everyone from well-known money managers to savvy traders and investors relies upon this annual resource for its in-depth analyses and insights. The Stock Trader's Almanac 2012 contains essential historical price information on the stock market, ...

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A time-tested guide to stock trading market cycles

Published every year since 1968, the Stock Trader's Almanac is a practical investment tool with a wealth of information organized in calendar format. Everyone from well-known money managers to savvy traders and investors relies upon this annual resource for its in-depth analyses and insights. The Stock Trader's Almanac 2012 contains essential historical price information on the stock market, provides monthly and daily reminders, and highlights seasonal trading opportunities and dangers.

The Stock Trader's Almanac 2012 is packed with timely insights and targeted analysis to help you navigate turbulent markets and beat the odds in the year ahead. This trusted guide combines over a century's worth of data, statistics, and trends along with vital analysis you won't get anywhere else. The 2012 edition includes a revision of the Seasonal Switching Strategy that significantly boosts returns as well as new information on the coming Super Boom. Other key seasonal and cyclical updates include pre-presidential election year cycles and perspectives, how the government manipulates the economy to stay in power, incumbent victories vs. incumbent defeats, and the market impact of the lame duck year.

  • Alerts you to little-known market patterns and tendencies to help forecast market trends with accuracy and confidence
  • An indispensable annual resource, trusted for over 40 years by traders and investors
  • The data in the Almanac is some of the best in the business

For its wealth of information and the authority of its sources, the Stock Trader's Almanac stands alone as the guide to intelligent investing.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118048696
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/11/2011
  • Series: Almanac Investor Series, #76
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey A. Hirsch (South Nyack, NY) is president of Hirsch Organization and has worked with Yale Hirsch for over 15 years.  In 2001 he took over as president and editor. He appears frequently on CNBC, Fox Biz, Yahoo! Tech Ticker, and Bloomberg to talk about market cycles and seasonal trends.  He also edits the monthly Almanac Investor eNewsletter, a digital subscription-based toolkit for active traders and investors.

The Hirsch Organization (South Nyack, NY) was founded by Yale Hirsch (Nyack, NY) who first published The Stock Trader's Almanac, which provides historical information to investors, in 1967.

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Table of Contents

10 2012 Strategy Calendar

12 January Almanac

14 January's First Five Days: An "Early Warning" System

16 The Incredible January Barometer (Devised 1972): Only Seven Significant Errors in 61 Years

18 January Barometer in Graphic Form Since 1950

20 February Almanac

22 Hot January Industries Beat S&P 500 Next 11 Months

24 2012 Presidential Election Year Perspectives

26 The Second Year of Decades

28 March Almanac

30 Market Charts of Presidential Election Years

32 How to Trade Best Months Switching Strategies

34 How the Government Manipulates the Economy to Stay in Power

36 April Almanac

38 Incumbent Party Wins and Losses

40 The December Low Indicator: A Useful Prognosticating Tool

42 Down Januarys: A Remarkable Record

44 Top Performing Months Past 611/3Years: Standard & Poor's 500 and Dow Jones Industrials

46 May Almanac

48 Best Six Months: Still An Eye-Popping Strategy

50 MACD-Timing Triples “Best Six Months” Results

52 Only Two Losses Last 7 Months of Election Years

54 June Almanac

56 Top Performing NASDAQ Months Past 401/3Years

58 Get More out of NASDAQ's "Best Eight Months" with MACD-Timing

60 Triple Returns, Fewer Trades: Best 6 + 4-Year Cycle

62 July Almanac

64 First Month of Quarters Is the Most Bullish

66 2010 Daily Dow Point Changes

68 Don't Sell Stocks on Monday or Friday

70 A Rally for All Seasons

72 August Almanac

74 Fifteen Year Projection

76 Aura of the Triple Witch—4th Quarter Most Bullish: Down Weeks Trigger More Weakness Week After

78 Take Advantage of Down Friday/Down Monday Warning

82 A Correction for All Seasons

84 First-Trading-Day-of-The-Month Phenomenon: Dow Gains More One Day than All Other Days

86 Market Behavior Three Days before and Three Days after Holidays

88 Market Gains More on Super-8 Days Each Month Than on All 13 Remaining Days Combined

90 October Almanac

92 Sector Seasonality: Selected Percentage Plays

94 Sector Index Seasonality Strategy Calendar

98 November Almanac

100 Fourth Quarter Market Magic

102 Trading the Thanksgiving Market

104 Most of the So-Called "January Effect" Takes Place in the Last Half of December

106 December Almanac

108 January Effect Now Starts in Mid-December

110 Wall Street’s Only Free Lunch Served before Christmas

112 If Santa Claus Should Fail to Call, Bears May Come to Broad and Wall

114 Best Investment Book of the Year: George Lindsay and the A rt of Technical Analysis;Year's Top Investment Books

118 2012 Strategy Calendar


121 Dow Jones Industrials Market Probability Calendar 2012

122 Recent Dow Jones Industrials Market Probability Calendar 2012

123 S&P 500 Market Probability Calendar 2012

124 Recent S&P 500 Market Probability Calendar 2012

125 NASDAQ Market Probability Calendar 2012

126 Recent NASDAQ Market Probability Calendar 2012

127 Russell 1000 Index Market Probability Calendar 2012

128 Russell 2000 Index Market Probability Calendar 2012

129 Decennial Cycle: A Market Phenomenon

130 Presidential Election/Stock Market Cycle: The 178-Year Saga Continues

131 Dow Jones Industrials Bull and Bear Markets Since 1900

132 Standard & Poor’s 500 Bull and Bear Markets Since 1929/NASDAQ Composite Since 1971

133 Dow Jones Industrials 10-Year Daily Point Changes: January and February

134 Dow Jones Industrials 10-Year Daily Point Changes: March and April

135 Dow Jones Industrials 10-Year Daily Point Changes: May and June

136 Dow Jones Industrials 10-Year Daily Point Changes: July and August

137 Dow Jones Industrials 10-Year Daily Point Changes: September and October

138 Dow Jones Industrials 10-Year Daily Point Changes: November and December

139 A Typical Day in the Market

140 Through the Week on a Half-Hourly Basis

141 Wednesday Most Profitable Day of Week

142 NASDAQ Strongest Last 3 Days of Week

143 S&P Daily Performance Each Year Since 1952

144 NASDAQ Daily Performance Each Year Since 1971

145 Monthly Cash Inflows into S&P Stocks

146 Monthly Cash Inflows into NASDAQ Stocks

147 November, December, and January: Year’s Best Three-Month Span

148 November through June: NASDAQ’s Eight-Month Run

149 Dow Jones Industrials Annual Highs, Lows, and Closes Since 1901

150 Standard & Poor’s 500 Annual Highs, Lows, and Closes Since 1930

151 NASDAQ, Russell 1000, and 2000 Annual Highs, Lows, and Closes Since 1971

152 Dow Jones Industrials Monthly Percent Changes Since 1950

153 Dow Jones Industrials Monthly Point Changes Since 1950

154 Dow Jones Industrials Monthly Closing Prices Since 1950

155 Standard & Poor’s 500 Monthly Percent Changes Since 1950

156 Standard & Poor’s 500 Monthly Closing Prices Since 1950

157 NASDAQ Composite Monthly Percent Changes Since 1971

158 NASDAQ Composite Monthly Closing Prices Since 1971

159 Russell 1000 Monthly Percent Changes and Closing Prices Since 1979

160 Russell 2000 Monthly Percent Changes and Closing Prices Since 1979

161 10 Best Days by Point and Percent

162 10 Worst Days by Point and Percent

163 10 BestWeeks by Point and Percent

164 10 WorstWeeks by Point and Percent

165 10 Best Months by Point and Percent

166 10 Worst Months by Point and Percent

167 10 Best Quarters by Point and Percent

168 10 Worst Quarters by Point and Percent

169 10 BestYears by Point and Percent

170 10 WorstYears by Point and Percent


172 Portfolio at Start of 2012

173 Additional Purchases

175 Short-Term Transactions

177 Long-Term Transactions

179 Interest/Dividends Received during 2012/Brokerage Account Data 2012

180 Weekly Portfolio Price Record 2012

182 Weekly Indicator Data 2012

184 Monthly Indicator Data 2012

185 Portfolio at End of 2012

186 If You Don’t Profit from Your Investment Mistakes, Someone Else Will; Performance Record of Recommendations

187 Individual Retirement Account (IRA): Most Awesome Mass Investment Incentive Ever Devised

188 Top 300 Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

190 Option Trading Codes

191 G. M. Loeb's "Battle Plan" for Investment Survival

192 G. M. Loeb's Investment Survival Checklist

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Interviews & Essays

Bonus Interview & Essay

Q&A With Jeffery Hirsh, Editor-in-Chief of Stock Trader's Almanac

1. What is the biggest trend in the markets to watch for 2012 and how can investors prepare for it?
A: Outside of the four-year cycle, sovereign debt concerns remain a major obstacle to markets in 2012. Beyond the threat of credit rating downgrades, any further austerity measures enacted to balance budgets could potentially cause severe damage to what has been a fragile economic recovery.

2. What differentiates the Stock Trader's Almanac approach to investing from other approaches out in the market?
A: Beyond our 45 year history, our research of seasonal patterns and cycles does not bind our readers to one corner of the market. Our research can be applied in nearly any trading strategy. Whether trading individual stocks or options on an index futures contract, our analysis can provide traders with an edge. Quote: "If the market does not rally, as it should during bullish seasonal periods, it is a sign that other forces are stronger and that when the seasonal period ends these forces will really have their say." —Edson Gould

3. The Almanac is often quoted in the media and is famously known for a few key indicators that you follow. What are these indicators and how can investors trade them?
A: Two of our widely known indicators are the January Barometer and the "Best Six Months". The January Barometer simply states: "As January goes, so goes the year." The January Barometer can only be applied to markets going back to the passage of the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the "lame duck" amendment. It made January a politically significant month in addition to the importance of being the first month of the New Year. Strength in January is a positive sign that can be used to increase long market exposure. Down Januarys on the other hand are negative omens. Every down January since 1950 was followed by a new or continuing bear market, a 10% or greater correction, or a flat year. A substantial amount of our research and trading advice revolves around the market's "Best Six Months". What our research has shown is that the market makes the bulk of its gains in just six months of the year, November through April, hence the roots of "Sell in May". Traders and investors can enjoy the bulk of the gains with half the risk of buy and hold. The key to the "Best Six Months" for investors is to look for technical buying opportunity in October ahead of the usually bullish period and a selling opportunity in April or May.

4. Last year you came out with Super Boom prediction for a coming market boom. Has the fluctuating market changed this prediction at all? Will the 2012 Almanac discuss this prediction?
A: Yes we do cover the prediction in the 2012 Almanac and No the prediction has not changed. In our 2011 Annual Forecast sent to our subscribers in December 2010 we forecasted an early 2011 DJIA high in the 13000-14000 range. DJIA peaked in April at 12810. We also forecast a correction of 15-20%. From its April high to its October low, DJIA declined 16.8%. For full-year 2011 we forecast gains of 5-10% for the DJIA, which we still expect. This forecast was integrated into the Fifteen Year Projection chart found on page 74 of the Stock Trader's Almanac 2012.

Trends to Watch and Trade in 2012
By Jeffrey A. Hirsch

Presidential Election Years 2nd Best in Four-Year-Cycle
It is no mere coincidence that the last two years (pre-election year and election year) of the 44 administrations since 1833 produced a total net market gain of 718.5%, dwarfing the 273.1% gain of the first two years of these administrations.

Presidential elections every four years have a profound impact on the economy and the stock market. Wars, recessions and bear markets tend to start or occur in the first half of the term; prosperous times and bull markets, in the latter half. After nine straight annual Dow gains during the millennial bull, the four-year election cycle reasserted its overarching domination of market behavior the last 11 years. However, 2008 was the worst presidential election year on record.

Only Two Losses In Last Seven Months Of Election Years
Regardless which Party is victorious, the last seven months have seen gains on the S&P 500 in 13 of the 15 presidential election years since 1950. One loss was in 2000 when the election's outcome was delayed for 36 tumultuous days, though the Dow did gain ground in the last seven months of 2000. Financial crisis and the worst bear market since the Great Depression impacted 2008.

First Five Months Better When Party Retains White House
Since 1901 there have been 27 presidential elections. When the Party in power retained the White House 16 times, the Dow was up 1.5% on average for the first five months, compared to a 4.6% loss the 11 times the Party was ousted. Since 1950, retaining the White House 7 times brought an average gain of 1.9% compared to -0.1% the other 8 times.

War Can Be A Major Factor In Presidential Races
Democrats used to lose the White House on foreign shores (1920 WW1, 1952 Korea, 1968 Vietnam, 1980 Iran Crisis). Republicans on the other hand lost it here at home (1912 Party split, 1932 Depression, 1960 Economy, 1976 Watergate). Homeland issues dominated elections the last three decades with the Republican loss in 1992 (Economy), and the Democratic loss in 2000 (Scandal), and the Republican loss in 2008 (Economy). As we've learned over the years, it all depends on who the candidates are in 2012.

Market Bottoms Two Years After A Presidential Election
A takeover of the White House by the opposing party in the past 50 years (1960, 1968, 1976, 1980, 1992, 2000, 2008) has resulted in a bottom within two years, except 1994, a flat year. When incumbent parties retained power (1964, 1972, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2004) stocks often bottomed within two years later as well, except 1984 (three years, 1987) and 2004 (one year, flat 2005). Whatever the outcome in 2012, we could see a bottom by 2014.

Only Six Election Year Declines Greater Than 5% Since 1896
Presidential election years are the second best performing year of the four-year cycle. Incumbent parties lost power in five of the six years with declines greater than 5%. Five losses occurred at the end of the second term. FDR defeated Hoover in 1932 and was re-elected to an unprecedented third term as WWII ravaged Europe. Election year 2012 marks the end of the incumbent party's first term, improving the prospects for a solid year.

Party Average % End of

Year Switch DJIA Loss * 2nd Term
1920 X - 32.9% X
1932 X - 23.1% Market Crash 1st Term
1940 WWII 3rd term - 12.7% X
1960 X - 9.3% X
2000 X - 6.2% X
2008 X - 33.8% X
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