Tomorrow will be the first Friday the 13th in April since 2012. The S&P 500 Index actually dropped 1.25% on that day, which ranks as the worst drop on any Friday the 13th going back 15 years!
Of course, this is also a big day if you are unfortunate enough to suffer from triskaidekaphobia—the fear of the number 13. In case it helps with your next game of Trivial Pursuit, a fear of the actual day of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia. (Try pronouncing those words.)
But does this fateful day really mean anything?
The table below shows how the S&P 500 has performed historically each day of the week. But Monday’s status as the worst day of the week for the index (by far) is really no surprise since generally speaking, no one likes Monday.
Since 1928*, there have been 153 instances of Friday the 13th; and wouldn’t you know it, the S&P 500 does a worse on average with an annualized 4.2% gain versus 13.0% for all Fridays. Comparing the daily performance in the chart of the day below, the index’s average return on Friday the 13th is notably below the median, which tells us that the average is skewed by some rather large drops.
Breaking it down by month, this is only the 11th Friday the 13th during the month of April since 1928, which is the least out of any month. Although the S&P 500 was down big back in 2012, the good news is that stocks still sport an overall gain over the previous 10 Friday the 13th’s in April.
Per Ryan Detrick, Senior Market Strategist, “Unless you break a mirror or see a black cat on Friday, we aren’t in any way saying one day matters more or less than another. Still, wouldn’t you know it— Friday the 13th tends to be a weak day on average, spooky indeed!”
Have a great Friday the 13th, everyone!
*Please note: The modern design of the S&P 500 stock index was first launched in 1957. Performance back to 1950 incorporates the performance of predecessor index, the S&P 90.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.
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