October Stock Market Volatility In 9 Charts

Ryan Detrick

I was quoted by my friend Anora Mahmudova of MarketWatch recently in this article about how October gets a bad wrap as a bearish month, but it is actually a strong month.

In fact, over the past twenty years, October is the third best month.

Even more impressive is when it is higher, no month sports a higher return when it is up. Meaning, when things are good, they are really good.

But when they are bad… well, maybe stock market volatility kicks up a bit in October. But more on that later.

Monthly S&P 500 Returns For October – 1995-2014

average stock market returns by month 1995-2015

Here’s what the average October looks like for the S&P 500. Not all that scary, huh?

average october stock market seasonality chart 1995-2014

Now let’s dig into October’s history of stock market volatility.

First, let’s look at the largest daily gains ever. Note that five of the top 11 took place in October.

largest one day gains in stock market history

On the downside, the three largest declines ever took place in October and six out the ten largest happened this month.

largest one day drops stock market history

Looking at how the month ended up, just one of the 10 best months ever took place in October.

largest monthly stock market gains history

 

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