Roses in December

Physician's Money Digest, September30 2003, Volume 10, Issue 18

By late December, holders of losingstocks dump them to lock in tax losses.The result is often fire-sale prices on someshares, which in turn leads to a phenomenonknown as the Santa Claus rally.Stocks trading at their 52-week low nearDecember's end have averaged a 13.9%gain by the end of February over the past29 years, compared with an average gainof 4.2% for the New York Stock Exchangecomposite over the same period.Santa usually arrives late on Wall Street,with the rally occurring during the waningdays of 1 year and the first few tradingdays of the next. He's been a no-showin only 8 years since 1970, but hisabsence often spells hard times ahead.The last time he skipped over Wall Streetwas in 1999; the current bear marketstarted in January 2000.