The Percent of Stocks with Positive YTD Performance is Deteriorating Quickly

After a tough start to the year the percent of stocks in the MSCI World Index showing YTD gains rose steadily from less than 30% in February to nearly 80% in July. However, the percent of stocks in positive territory for the year has steadily faded away since July and now appears to be accelerating lower and currently stands at only 57%. Even more troubling is that the percent of stocks showing a QTD gain (as of 9/26) is only 37% and the percent showing a MTD gain (again as of 9/26) is only 23%. To put this into slightly different words, the odds of picking a winning stock this year (to say nothing of keeping up with the benchmark index) are now slightly better than a coin flip and falling while the odds of picking a winning stock for the month of September was only 23%. Indeed, as chart four below shows, September will be the worst stock picking month since May 2012, and September 2011 before that.  

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