V.9:11 (471-472): Historical Movement Of The Stock Market by Michael J. Moody, C.M.T.

V.9:11 (471-472): Historical Movement Of The Stock Market by Michael J. Moody, C.M.T.
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Historical Movement Of The Stock Market by Michael J. Moody, C.M.T.

Experience enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again. --Franklin P. Jones

Perspective is critical for participants in the financial markets. Unfortunately, one's perspective is easily influenced by the emotions arising from recent price action, all too often leading to poor market decisions because current price action never continues indefinitely. Further price erosion in a falling market, as well as additional price gains in a rising market, can always be rationalized in the prevailing emotional climate. As a result, loss of perspective due to the emotional environment is apt to occur at the worst possible time—at a significant turning point.


The best cure for such market memory loss is hard statistical data on the history of returns in the stock market. Figures 1 through 4 use quarterly average total return data for the capitalization weighted Standard & Poor's 500 Industrials from 1940 to second-quarter 1991 and also display the data in graphic form.

Consecutive positive quarterly total returns—up moves— and consecutive negative quarterly total returns—down moves—are shown in extent in percentage terms and duration in quarters. Close study of this type of data is worthwhile, because being familiar with the statistical record is probably the most important clue we can have to the future.

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