Investors should not merely engage in the traditional revelry of the season, they should also engage in some serious stock research during the period. You see, the holiday season offers its own version of "Black Friday," a period when stocks frequently come on sale, due to the phenomena known as the January Effect.
The January Effect
The January Effect refers to the tendency of stocks prices to advance during the first month of the new calendar year. The effect is most predominant for the smaller stocks which are frequently sold for tax loss purposes by individual investors prior to the end of the year. The following chart reveals that the January Effect really starts in November. From a statistical prospective the best time to own stocks is the during the three month period from November through January.
Donald B. Keim is credited with documenting the January Effect in a research paper he wrote for The Journal of Financial Economic in 1983. http://www.buec.udel.edu/coughenj/finc872_keim_jfe1983.pdf Since that time numerous studies have been performed which point to the fact that the smaller stocks tend to outperform their larger brethren during January.
Haug and Hirschey performed an exhaustive review of the literature regarding the January Effect and drew the following conclusions:
1) A persistent January Effect existed for small-cap stocks from 1927 to 2004.
2) The January Effect was positively correlated with value stocks as well as smaller stocks.
3) Momentum stocks were negatively correlated with the January Effect.
In other words, to achieve the maximum benefit from the January Effect, investors should actively seek out and purchase small-cap value stocks late in the calendar year.
Suggestions on Finding January Effect Candidates
The best place to look for oversold and undervalued candidates is by scouring the list of 52-week lows. [url=http://www.barchart.com/stocks/newhilo.php?what=prclowc_YTDL_V%3c100_T&dwm=]http://www.barchart.com/stocks/newhilo.php?what=prclowc_YTDL_V