General retailers start their weakest month of the year

The 2013 edition of the Almanac looks at the historic monthly performance of the FTSE 350 sectors. Here we look at the general retailers sector.

The following chart plots the average out-performance of the FTSE 350 general retailers sector over the FTSE 100 Index by month since 1999. For example, since 1999 on average the general retailers sector has out-performed the FTSE Index by 1.7 percentage points in February.


  1. The strongest month of the year for the sector is February, and the weakest is December.
  2. After two strong months early in the year (February and March) the relative performance of the sector steadily declines for the rest of the year.

The 20 stocks in the FTSE 350 General Retailers sector [NMX5370] are-

Brown (N) Group  [BWNG] Kingfisher  [KGF]
Carpetright  [CPR] Marks & Spencer  [MKS]
Debenhams  [DEB] Moneysupermarket  [MONY]
Dignity [DTY] Next  [NXT]
Dixons Retail  [DXNS] Ocado  [OCDO]
Dunelm  [DNLM] Paypoint  [PAY]
Halfords  [HFD] Sports Direct  [SPD]
Home Retail  [HOME] SuperGroup  [SGP]
Inchcape  [INCH] TUI Travel  [TT.]
JD Sports  [JD.] WH Smith  [SMWH]
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First trading day of October

Next Monday (1 October) will be the first trading day (FTD) of October.

As explained in the 2013 edition of the Almanac, the market has a tendency to be strong on the FTD of a month. And this effect has been even more pronounced in recent years.

In line with this effect, the October FTD tends to be stronger than the average day in the year, but its strength only places October in the middle ranking of all months. Since 1984, the average return for the FTSE 100 Index on the October FTD has been 0.15% (five times the average return for all days in the year), with a positive return in 61% of all years.

The following chart shows the returns for every October FTD since 1984.


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Last trading day of September

Tomorrow (Friday 28 Sep) will be the last trading day (LTD) of September.

As explained in the 2013 edition of the Almanac the LTDs of months used to be stronger than average, but in recent years they have been weak. This is quite different from the first trading days of months which strongly out-perform the average for all days, and where the effect has strengthened in recent years.

Historically, the September LTD has been one of the weakest monthly LTDs in the year. Since 1984 only three months have an average negative return for their LTDs, one of which is September. The following chart shows the FTSE 100 Index returns for every September LTD since 1984.

Last trading day for Septembers (1984-2012)

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