Although the end of August has been improving over the past ten years, the week before Labor (this year it is entirely in August) has a much weaker track record over the past 17 years. DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ have all averaged a weekly loss.
However, small caps, measured by the Russell 2000, have fared better advancing in 11 of 17 years with an average week before Labor Day gain of 0.5%. Years in which the week before Labor Day was entirely in August are shaded in the table below. Absent bullish first-trading-day-of-the-month tendencies, these weeks are notably weaker.
By Christopher Mistal