The Chinese New Year officially began Feb. 10, bringing us the year of the snake – which some investors consider a very bad omen.
Not only does the year of the snake have the worst stock market returns of all zodiac signs, but some of the darkest moments in U.S. history have come during that zodiac year.
Art Cashin, director of floor operations at UBS AG (NYSE: UBS), appeared on CNBC‘s “Squawk on the Street” Monday and even listed the year of the snake as one reason investors should be cautious about stocks.
And there’s plenty of history to back up Cashin’s statement.
Tragedy & Loss in the Year of the Snake
Chinese zodiac signs occur on a 12-year cycle, and the Chinese new year usually begins on the second new moon of winter.
Since 1900, the year of the snake is the only zodiac year in which there has been a decline in the S&P 500. It has dropped an average of 3.8% during corresponding Gregorian calendar years.
The year of the snake has always been associated with bad news in the United States, making even the slightest believer in zodiac signs worried about what may be on the horizon this year.
Consider events that have occurred during the year of the snake in the past:
1917: The United States entered World War I in April.
1929: The stock market crashed in October, beginning the Great Depression.
1941: Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in December, prompting the U.S. to enter World War II.
1977: Stocks finished down 17.5% for the year.
2001: The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks occurred, and the market fell almost 12%.
And since 1917 there have only been two years, 1965 and 1989, in which the S&P 500 was positive during the year of the snake.
Will The Snake Strike in 2013?
from Money Morning by Ben Gersten