Well, here we are in December, the final trading month of 2016, and what a year it has been. After what can only be described as the most controversial, unorthodox and stressful presidential campaign in history I think the country just want to move on and into the holiday season.
For 2016 the major indexes have performed remarkably well. For the year the DOW has gained 10%, the S&P 500 7.24% and finally the NASDAQ is up almost 5%.
December has traditionally been a positive month for stocks and this December could well continue that trend. One word of warning about December, after about the second week of trading, liquidity begins to shrink dramatically as many traders and brokerage companies start to wind down operations for the year. Traditionally most market participants look forward to the holidays and a well deserved mental and physical break from the markets. This year is no different, in fact, I think it will be magnified as the equity markets have all performed well. Unless we see a "Black Swan" event in December, we expect to see stocks remain flat to positive month.
About a year ago I wrote a blog on the "silly season," as I call it. The silly season starts on December 15 and extends through the first week of January. The silly season has nothing to do with telling jokes and laughing at funny things, but everything to do with trading.
Trading is a serious business. If you want to be successful you have to practice, just like an athlete would. I don't think there is an athlete out there who just woke up and said I'm going to be a world-class athlete and achieved that goal without practicing.
After December 15 most successful traders who made their money during the year are headed to either Florida, Palm Springs, or just taking a break to spend time with family.