January Effect

Definition

Tendency of the stock market to rise between December 31 and the end of the first week in January. The January Effect occurs because many investors choose to sell some of their stock right before the end of the year in order to claim a capital loss for tax purposes. Once the tax calendar rolls over to a new year on January 1st these same investors quickly reinvest their money in the market, causing stock prices to rise. Although the January Effect has been observed numerous times throughout history, it is difficult for investors to profit from it since the market as a whole expects it to happen and therefore adjusts its prices accordingly.

Use January Effect in a sentence

Although primarily influenced by tax considerations, the quick selloff and purchasing of stocks in what many call the January effect also occurs when investors want to get rid of stocks that are performing poorly.

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