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Seasonal stress test

The summer months of August and September are considered a difficult period on the stock markets. The vacation period in the northern hemisphere not only leads to a lower trading volume, but usually also to greater price fluctuations and, as a result, to price losses.

Since 1990, these two months are the only ones that have brought on average a negative performance for investors in the S&P 500 and DAX. A closer look at the seasonal trends reveals that August is a month with more frequent vola-tile escapades. The negative September performance, on the other hand, is mainly due to the crisis years 2001 and 2008, when the attacks on the World Trade Center (2001) and the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers (2008) brought the stock markets to their knees.

Compared to the seasonal pattern, August 2020 was much more relaxed, probably due in part to the chronically negative mood of investors in the year of the Corona crisis. However, the negative sentiment was by no means homogeneous in recent times. In the technology sector in particular, we saw a high degree of carelessness and speculative interest at the end of August, which is now reflected in price losses in September.

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