November is Historically a Good Month

December 6, 2021

November is historically a good month for the market and begins a 90-day period that has traditionally been the best for stock market performance.  However, we wondered if the 7% gain in October may have used some of the fuel that would normally propel the market in November and that seems to be the case.  On the heels of a strong October the month got off to a solid start but stalled during the middle of the month.  On Black Friday there was a report of a new Covid variant coming out of Africa that sent the S&P 500 to its worst day this year and erased all the gains for the month.  At month end there were reports that the new variant had “very mild” symptoms, but the market hates uncertainty and the selling sent the S&P 500 to a closing loss of .8% for November but the widely followed index is still 21.6% higher for the year. Oil plunged 18.3% for its worst month since the pandemic began on concerns about slowing demand.

As the month began, we continued to see strong quarterly earnings reports drive the market to new all-time highs.  We learned the services sector of the economy had the strongest growth in September of any month in the 25-year history of the survey.  The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and will began to slowly taper their balance sheet.  At the end of the week, we learned a better than expected 531,000 new jobs were created in October.  There was also a report that Pfizer’s new Covid pill was 90% effective at preventing hospitalization.  The good news combined to drive the S&P 500 to a gain of 2%.  The second week was impacted by the Veterans Day banking holiday on the 11th and began with news that the infrastructure bill passed after the market close last Friday.  We learned inflation was 8.6% year over year, a record and there were a couple of high-profile earnings disappointments.  The week ended with a loss of .3%, ending a 5-week winning streak.  During the third week we learned retail sales in October were up 1.7% which was more than double expectations. The S&P 500 did hit an all-time high close on Thursday, but we ended the week with news Austria was going to total Covid shutdown, something we thought was a thing of the past.  Despite the disappointing news on Friday the S&P 500 did manage to gain .3% for the week.  The last full week of the month was Thanksgiving week with the market closed on Thursday and only a half day of trading on Friday.  The week generally features low volume and an upward bias which is what we saw the first 3 days.  On Friday, with most money managers enjoying a long weekend, there was that news of a new Covid variant coming out of Africa that sent the S&P 500 to its worst day this year and erased all the gains for the month.  Fortunately, early reports are the symptoms of the new strain are “very mild”, but the market does not like uncertainty.

December is one of the better months for the stock market with the odds of closing higher at 73%, noticeably higher than any other month.  The average gain of 1.3% is second only to July, so the odds of closing the year strong are high.  As we saw in November, Covid is still going to play a role.  We recently saw an article from a noted epidemiologist who said, “the pandemic will not just end, we will just quit caring about it, or care a lot less”.  It appears most of us have done what we need to do to move on with our lives, it is now in the hands of the politicians.  With most of the world unvaccinated there will likely be numerous other variants coming.  If political leaders will understand it is time to start our “new normal” this pandemic may be allowed to fade into history.  Economic closures, like we recently saw in Austria, are disruptive to the economic rebound and have shown no sign of helping. We do not expect shutdowns in the United States, but Covid continues to be an unpredictable variable.  We have been buyers of dips for the past 18 months and continue to believe that is the correct approach.

If you know someone who would be interested in learning more about Greenberg Financial Group please contact us at 520-544-4909, or visit our NEW website at As always, the key to successful investing is to have a portfolio that is consistent with your investment objectives and risk tolerance. We invite you to listen to our weekly Money Matters radio show which airs every Sunday Morning from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM on KNST AM 790.  You can also listen to us on iHeart radio, follow us on Twitter @gbergfinancial or on Facebook under Greenberg Financial Group.


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