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Published: Sep 01, 2022 5 min read

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September Calendar With Stocks Graphic Behind It
Money; Shutterstock

Leaves aren't the only thing falling in September.

The first month of autumn has historically been the worst month of the year for stocks. The S&P 500, a benchmark index viewed as an indicator for how the stock market is faring overall, has fallen a median of 0.42% and seen positive returns just 44.7% of the time in September since 1928, according to data from Bespoke Investment Group.

As for 2022, stocks have had a rough year so far amid soaring inflation and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates. The S&P 500 is down around 18% from the beginning of 2022. And when the index has been down year-to-date through the end of August, it's averaged a decline of 3.4% in September, according to Bespoke. When the index was up year-to-date during the same time period, September has historically been flat.

The index was trading down 1% by midday Thursday, the first day of September.