What’s so special about Tuesday?

The following chart shows the average returns of the FTSE 100 Index for each day of the week since 1984. For example, since 1984 the average return of the index on Monday has been -0.01%, while for Tuesday it has been 0.06%.

Day of the week (1984-2014)But the above analysis is over a long period and the return characteristics of the five days changes somewhat over time. For example, the following chart shows the average returns of the FTSE 100 Index for each day of the week for the calendar year so far.

Day of the week (Jan-Aug 2014)This has the rather odd result that the only day with a positive return in 2014 so far has been Tuesday by a large margin – on average the the market has fallen on the four other days.

The following chart plots the cumulative returns for each of the five days of the week for the first eight months of the year.

Day of the week (Jan-Aug 2014)_cumulative

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Large market falls and days of the week

Do large falls in the market tend to happen on certain days of the week?

FTSE 100 (1984-2013)

The following chart shows the frequency distribution by day of the week for the 100 largest daily falls in the FTSE 100 Index over the period 1984-2013.

FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF THE 100 LARGEST DAY FALLS IN FTSE 100 (1984-2013)Out of the 100 worst daily falls, 27 occurred on a Monday, making it the most common day for large falls. After Monday, Thursday saw the greatest number of large falls.

FTSE All-Share Index  (1969-2013)

The following chart looks at the weekday distribution of large falls over a longer period (1969-2013) for the FTSE All-Share Index.

FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF 100 LARGEST DAY FALLS IN FTSE ALL-SHARE (1969-2013)Again, Monday saw the greatest number of large falls; in fact the number of large falls on Monday is greater here (at 30) than for the precious test.

S&P 500 Index (1950-2013)

Obviously, the UK market follows the US market, especially for large market moves. So, it is interesting to look at what happens in the US market.

The following chart shows the frequency distribution by day of the week for the 100 largest daily falls in the S&P 500 Index over the period 1950-2013.

FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION OF 100 LARGEST DAY FALLS IN S&P 500 (1950-2013)Again, we see that Monday was the most common day for large market falls.

  • 35 of the 100 largest falls in the S&P 500 since 1950 occurred on a Monday.
  • 6 of the 8 largest falls in the index since 1950 occurred on Mondays.
  • The largest daily fall in the S&P 500 Index since 1950 was a 19 October 1987 (a Monday).

Other articles on day of the week anomalies.

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