Mark Hulbert: Santa Claus Rally is just another Christmas story

Can Santa Claus save this stock market?

Many are certainly hoping so, since nothing else appears able to stem the market’s carnage. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -1.56% fell sharply again on Monday, shedding nearly 400 points.

Its doubtful that even Santa can help. An analysis of the past century reveals that the stock market in the weeks prior to Christmas is no more likely to rally than at other times of the year.

To be sure, hardly any of the many advisers and commentators who base their hopes on a Santa Claus Rally ever bother to define exactly when it begins and ends.

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