I admit it; I love obscure facts and statistics, especially really strange ones. Take, for example, some of the nuggets I recently unearthed on Stunning-Stuff.com:

  • In 1987, American Airlines (NYSE:AMR) saved $40,000 by eliminating one olive from each salad in first class.
  • Left-handed people have slightly shorter life spans than right-handed people.
  • An ant, when intoxicated, will always fall over to its right side.
  • Topless saleswomen are legal in Liverpool, England, but only in tropical fish stores.

Whether these items are true or not is open to debate. Certainly, I am not one who blindly believes everything I read, but still, the stunning-stuff list inspired me. So, while planning a family vacation to Liverpool, England to shop for tropical fish this weekend, I got to thinking about the seemingly inordinate number of bad trading days that have occurred on Monday. Is it just my imagination, or does the start of the workweek inspire more selling than other days?

Another Reason To Hate Mondays
Here's what I found out:


Average Daily Percentage Gain/Loss
Index Data Range Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri
Dow 10/01/28
to
10/06/08
-0.07% 0.04% 0.08% 0.03% 0.05%
Nasdaq 02/05/71
to
10/06/08
-0.13% -0.02% 0.12% 0.11% 0.10%

Wow. Not only does it appear that Monday is, indeed, a bad day to be a stockholder - the exact opposite seems to hold true for Wednesday. Given that simple averages are often distorted by extreme data, however, let's take a look at the median gains and losses as well:


Median Daily Percentage Gain/Loss
Index Data Range Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri
Dow 10/01/28
to
10/06/08
-0.02% 0.03% 0.07% 0.04% 0.07%
Nasdaq 02/05/71
to
10/06/08
-0.07% 0.02% 0.18% 0.17% 0.18%

Eureka!
As anticipated, Monday's numbers look a little healthier, but they're still negative. In fact, by digging a little deeper, one discovers that six of the nine worst percentage declines on both the Dow and Nasdaq took place on a Monday. (Want to learn more about the Dow? Then take a gander at Calculating The Dow Jones Industrial Average.)

Now, the reason for this is anybody's guess - I don't know why Richard Simmons insists on wearing that same pair of silk shorts everywhere he goes either, but I'm not losing any sleep over it (OK, maybe a little).

News You Can Use
The important thing is using this data to one's best advantage. To illustrate what I mean, let's take a peek at some of last week's Dow dogs like Citigroup (NYSE:C), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), IBM (NYSE:IBM), Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT).

By purchasing these issues at their closing prices on Sept. 26, and holding them through Tuesday's final bell, one would have lost an average of 17.38% of their hard-earned cash or ill-gotten booty. If, on the other hand, an investor had waited to buy until the market closed on Sept. 29 (thereby skipping Monday) and sold at session's end on Friday (bypassing Monday once again), the equity loss would have amounted to just 0.71%.

To me, it's another argument for three-day weekends.

Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    Analyzing Altria's Return on Equity (ROE) (MO)

    Learn about Altria Group's return on equity (ROE) and analyze net profit margin, asset turnover and financial leverage to determine what is causing its high ROE.
  2. Investing News

    Icahn's Bet on Cheniere Energy: Should You Follow?

    Investing legend Carl Icahn continues to lose money on Cheniere Energy, but he's increasing his stake. Should you follow his lead?
  3. Stock Analysis

    Analyzing Google's Return on Equity (ROE) (GOOGL)

    Learn about Alphabet's return on equity. How has its ROE changed over time, how does it compare to its peers and what factors are driving ROE for the company?
  4. Investing News

    Is Buffett's Bet on Oil Right for You? (XOM, PSX)

    Oil stocks are getting trounced, but Warren Buffett still likes one of them. Should you follow the leader?
  5. Investing News

    Chipotle Served with Criminal Probe

    Chipotle's beat muted expectations and got a clear bill from the CDC, but it now appears that an investigation into its E.coli breakout has expanded.
  6. Stock Analysis

    Analyzing Sprint Corp's Return on Equity (ROE) (S)

    Learn about Sprint's return on equity. Find out why its ROE is negative and how asset turnover and financial leverage impact ROE relative to Sprint's peers.
  7. Stock Analysis

    Why Alphabet is the Best of the 'FANGs' for 2016

    Alphabet just impressed the street, but is it the best FANG stock?
  8. Investing News

    A 2016 Outlook: What January 2009 Can Teach Us

    January 2009 and January 2016 were similar from an investment standpoint, but from a forward-looking perspective, they were very different.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    3 Vanguard Equity Fund Underperformers

    Discover three funds from Vanguard Group that consistently underperform their indexes. Learn how consistent most Vanguard low-fee funds are at matching their indexes.
  10. Investing News

    Alphabet Earnings Beat Expectations (GOOGL, AAPL)

    Alphabet's earnings crush analysts' expectations; now bigger than Apple?
RELATED FAQS
  1. How do dividends affect retained earnings?

    When a company issues a cash dividend to its shareholders, the retained earnings listed on the balance sheet are reduced ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What types of capital are not considered share capital?

    The money a business uses to fund operations or growth is called capital, and there are a number of capital sources available. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between issued share capital and subscribed share capital?

    The difference between subscribed share capital and issued share capital is the former relates to the amount of stock for ... Read Full Answer >>
COMPANIES IN THIS ARTICLE
Trading Center