It's not called 'The Ides of March' for nothing…
Wedbush Securities' Scott Skyrm reminds us:
Over the past 20 years, there was a series of market sell-offs during the month of March.
In 1998, it was the subject of a news story on CNBC. They claimed it's a combination of the market digesting the February refunding and Japanese investors preparing for Japanese year-end on March 31st.
These days, world markets are more complex than in 1998, but there continues to be a series of market panics and crashes coincidentally in March.
Don't believe the hype? Here's the last 25 years of March mishaps in stocks and bonds…
- March 1992: Short-end sells-off, market prices a 75 bps tightening, but the Fed eases in April
- March 1994: Fed tightens in February and March igniting a sell-off in the long-end of the curve. Mortgage and CMO markets crash. Kidder Peabody is sold
- March 1995: U.S. dollar crashes. Central banks intervene to support the dollar with large operations
- March 1996: Large employment number triggers a sell-off across the entire yield curve
- March 1998: General market sell-off at the beginning of the month
- Feb/Mar 1999: Bond market experiences a series of 1 point drops
- March 24, 2000: NASDAQ (technology) market reaches a peak and begins major decline
- March 2001: Sell-off in U.S. stock market after Fed fails to cut rates aggressively
- March 2003: After Iraq War starts, bond market sells-off considerably
- March 2005: After poor earnings from General Motors, corporate and emerging markets bonds sell-off
- Feb/Mar 2007: Stock sell-off in China sparks global sell-off, flight-to-quality. Sub-prime market stressed
- March 2008: Liquidity crisis causes the collapse of Bear Stearns
- March 2009: Sell-off in stocks brings Dow Jones index to a low of 6547; lowest since 1996
- Feb/Mar 2010: Greek sovereign debt crisis begins
- Mar 2011: Earthquake in Japan sends higher, leads to both a flight-to-quality & sell-off in the cash market March 20, 2012: Late hour bailout from the Eurozone and IMF saves Greece from default
- March 20, 2012: Late hour bailout from the Eurozone and IMF saves Greece from default
March has had some big positive return months like 2016’s near 7% gain that almost matched the historic record. It has also had some whopper losses.