Daily Outlook

Sell the day and go away? U.S. stock returns come overnight

Mornings have been lacking in joy this month for investors seeking returns in U.S. stocks. So far in September, regular-hours trading has featured consistent selling, according to data from Bespoke Investment Group. On average, losses on the benchmark S&P 500 index have been steepest between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Eastern (1400-1500 GMT), and every hour thereafter during the session has registered declines.

Overall, the S&P 500 has registered losses for four straight weeks, its longest such streak in a year. “Besides some ever so modest gains in the opening half-hour, the rest of the day consists of investors hitting bids and unloading stocks,” Bespoke’s strategists wrote in a note on Friday.

September’s activity returned U.S. stocks closer to their long-term trend of outperforming in after-hours trading versus regular-session trading, in contrast with most of 2020, when they outperformed during the regular session. Since the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, which tracks the S&P 500, launched in 1993, it has posted a 722% return in after-hours trading but an 8.5% loss in trading during the regular session, according to Bespoke.

Sell the day and go away? U.S. stock returns come overnight, Business, Sep 28

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