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Halloween's effects

It's clear that share prices are seasonal. What's not so clear is why. Mark Kamstra at York University in Toronto believes it is because investors' moods are seasonal in two related ways.

One is that in the autumn we become anxious and nervous whereas we become more hopeful in the spring. This means that shares fall in the autumn, to levels from which they subsequently rise. And they get another boost in March and April as we become more optimistic. These mood swings are embodied in our ancient pagan festivals. Halloween, or Samhain, is a time of fear whereas May Day is a celebration of hope and fertility.

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