U.S. Financial Markets Not Getting Usual Mother

The Monday after Mother’s Day is typically a can’t-miss for U.S. financial markets.

According to the Stock Trader’s Almanac, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 14 of the last 17 years the day after Mother’s Day. This year the day after Mother’s Day also happens to fall on the Monday before May options expiration – a day when the Dow has gained 20 of the last 24 years.

But stocks are bucking all those historical trends this year. The Dow was down 0.5% in late-day trading, while the S&P 500 had declined 0.6%.

It seems nothing can stop stocks from falling these days – not with fears of a Greek default holding financial markets around the world hostage. Europe, of course, felt the brunt of Greece’s struggles, as the Stoxx Europe 600 index tumbled 1.8% to a four-month low. Greek stocks have plummeted to a 20-year low.

If today’s losses hold the Dow will have fallen eight of the last nine days. The index has tumbled 4.4% since hitting a multi-year high of 13,338 in early May.

Still, it hasn’t been enough to erase the gains of the previous four months. The Dow is still up 4.4% in 2012. The S&P 500 has gained 6.8%. So it’s not quite time to panic…yet.

A few more down days on days that are typically good for stocks and maybe it will be time to panic.


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