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Thomas Bulkowski’s successful investment activities allowed him to retire at age 36. He is an internationally known author and trader with 30+ years of stock market experience and widely regarded as a leading expert on chart patterns. He may be reached at

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Bulkowski’s Best Buy Days

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Busted
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Patterns
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Market
Industrials (^DJI):
Transports (^DJT):
Utilities (^DJU):
Nasdaq (^IXIC):
S&P500 (^GSPC):
As of 11/20/2017
23,430 72.09 0.3%
9,522 38.86 0.4%
756 -2.12 -0.3%
6,791 7.92 0.1%
2,582 3.29 0.1%
YTD
18.6%
5.3%
14.6%
26.1%
15.3%
Tom's Targets    Overview: 11/14/2017
23,700 or 22,800 by 12/01/2017
9,300 or 9,800 by 12/01/2017
800 or 750 by 12/01/2017
7,000 or 6,500 by 12/01/2017
2,625 or 2,540 by 12/01/2017

Written by and copyright © 2005-2017 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information.

This article discusses a method which counts the number of days that price closed higher or lower from the prior close. Those days of the week with the fewest number of up closes represent buy days. Those with the most up closes are sell days.

Summary

Based on the results, in a bear market, buy on Monday (best in 2007-2009) or Tuesday (best in 2000-2002) and sell on Thursday (best in both bear markets).

For a bull market, buy on Friday (best in both bull markets) and sell on Wednesday (best in both periods) or Thursday (best in 2009-2010).

Methodology

This research is one of the easiest to conduct. You can do it on a spreadsheet easily enough. I used my own program to begin counting the number of times a stock closed higher or lower each day of the week. For example, if Monday closed higher than Friday, I would add a 1 to Monday's "closing up" column. Then I would compare Tuesday's close to Monday's. If Tuesday's close was higher, I would add 1 to Tuesday's "closing up" total. If the following week Tuesday closed lower than the prior day, then I would add 1 to the "total count" for Tuesday. If I were to stop there, Tuesday would have 1 up count out of 2 samples, or 50%. I did this for each day of the week, for the market indexes over various time frames. The remainder of this document discusses the results.

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Bull and Bear Markets

Picture of the indexes in both bull and bear markets

The above chart shows all available data on the various indexes, ending 3/26/2010. I show the Dow utilities in green, the Dow transports in red, Dow industrials in blue, Nasdaq composite in pink, and S&P 500 in yellow. Values above 50 means the day closed higher; below 50 means lower closes predominated.

For example, the utilities show Monday as having the most up days, at 54.3% of the total. The day with the fewest up closes over the Friday's close is Thursday, with only 48.6% closing higher.

The following table picks out the highlights. I consider the best day to buy is when the index closes lower that day. You can buy in at a cheaper price. Columns above 50 have more higher than lower closes. Those are the best days to sell near the close.

If you are a day trader, you might want to buy in at the market open and sell at the close on those days shown to post a higher close. For short sellers, do the reverse, sell at the open and cover at the close on those days more likely to post a lower close. That is just a general rule, of course, and market events will affect your strategy.

IndexBest Sell DayBest Buy
Day
Data
Start
Dow UtilitiesMonday or FridayThursday1/2/1990
Dow TransportsMondayThursday1/2/1990
Dow IndustrialsWednesday or FridayMonday10/1/1928
NasdaqWednesday, Thursday, or FridayMonday2/5/1971
S&P 500Wednesday or FridayMonday1/3/1950

If you ignore the bull and bear market type, the best overall day to buy is Monday. To sell, chose Wednesday or Friday.

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2000 to 2002 Bear Market

Picture of the 2000 to 2002 bear market up close counts.

The surprising thing about this chart is the Dow utilities showing a good run. They closed higher 57.9% of the time during the 2000 to 2002 bear market. The S&P 500 closed up the fewest number of times on Tuesday (41.1%). Also notice how many of the columns close below 50%. This is a bear market, after all, so lower closes should predominate (which they do, 17 to 25 or 68% of the time).

The following table shows the best buy and sell days.

IndexBest Sell
Day
Best Buy
Day
Dow UtilitiesMondayWednesday
Dow TransportsThursdayMonday
Dow IndustrialsThursdayTuesday
NasdaqThursdayTuesday
S&P 500ThursdayTuesday

As the table shows, Tuesday was the best buy day and Thursday was the best sell day, on average, for the major indexes.

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2002 to 2007 Bull Market

Picture of indexes between bear markets.

The above chart shows the bull market sandwiched between the two bear markets. Since this is a bull market, you would expect more columns to be above 50%. A count reveals the total to be 24 out of 25 or 96% showing more up closes.

The following table identifies the best buy and sell days for the period.

IndexBest Sell
Day
Best Buy
Day
Dow UtilitiesMondayThursday
Dow TransportsMondayFriday
Dow IndustrialsTuesday or WednesdayThursday
NasdaqMonday, Tuesday, or WednesdayFriday
S&P 500WednesdayFriday

For this bull period, the best buy days are Friday's and the best sell days are Wednesday's

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2007 to 2009 Bear Market

Picture of the 2007 to 2009 bear market up close counts.

The above chart shows the most recent bear market, from 2007 to 2009. Fifteen out of 25 columns, or 60%, were below 50%.

IndexBest Sell
Day
Best Buy
Day
Dow UtilitiesTuesdayThursday
Dow TransportsThursdayMonday
Dow IndustrialsThursdayMonday
NasdaqTuesdayMonday
S&P 500ThursdayMonday

This bear market shows the best buy days as Monday's (the prior bear market was Tuesday's) and sell days as Thursday's (no change from the 2000 to 2002 bear market).

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2009 to 2010 Bull Market

Picture of indexes since the 2009 bear market ended.

The above chart shows the most recent bull market, measured from the end of the 2009 bear market. Since it's only been a year, not many samples exist. On this chart, 22 out of 25 columns, or 88%, show more up closes.

The following table identifies the best buy and sell days for the period.

IndexBest Sell
Day
Best Buy
Day
Dow UtilitiesMondayWednesday
Dow TransportsFridayTuesday
Dow IndustrialsThursdayTuesday
NasdaqWednesdayFriday
S&P 500ThursdayFriday

The table shows that the best day to buy is Friday and sell on Wednesday or Thursday.

-- Thomas Bulkowski. Donate now to keep this website free.

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Written by and copyright © 2005-2017 by Thomas N. Bulkowski. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: You alone are responsible for your investment decisions. See Privacy/Disclaimer for more information. The first piece of luggage out of the chute doesn't belong to anyone, ever.