September is the worst month for stocks. Since World War Two, the S&P 500 has fallen 55% of the time in September. I needn’t remind investors of 2008. But in the last three weeks, the TSX is not only up 2.6%, but it’s also flirting with all-time highs, closing at 16,858 Thursday, up 0.35% for the day. While that is good news, keep in mind that the index has risen only 11% since its May 2008 high of 15,000, or 1% per year.
South of the border, the US-China trade war continues to rage, but Jerome Powell just cut U.S. interest rates, the Saudi oil attack spiked oil prices (at least briefly) and a strong North American consumer continues to push up markets. Leading this optimism is Microsoft. The cloud computing giant closed 1.84% higher on Thursday at $141.07, after announcing share buybacks of $40 billion and a quarterly dividend raise of five cents per share. Year-to-date, Microsoft is outpacing its cloud rival, Amazon, by rising 36% vs. 21% and beating the NASDAQ’s 23%.
Keep in mind there remains a full week of investing in September, followed by another bearish month, October…