Markets & Finance

Stocks: Four September Stalwarts


S&P's latest list finds companies that have thrived during a month when the market typically slumps

From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchSeptember sure seems to put equity investors in a sour mood. As our colleague Sam Stovall points out, since 1990, the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell an average 0.8% during September and posted declines for the month 53% of the time.

While Stovall has identified a number of reasons the market slumps in September (BusinessWeek.com, 9/4/07), we wanted to find out if there were any stocks that bucked the overall negative trend during the ninth month of the year. Here's how we did it.

The methodology was fairly simple this time around. We looked for stocks that had positive showings in each of the past five Septembers. (In fact, each stock on our list posted an average return of 10% in the five Septembers under observation.)

To make sure they were liquid stocks with a sizable market capitalization, each had to be a component of the S&P Composite 1500 index (which combines the S&P 500 index, the S&P MidCap 400 index, and the S&P SmallCap 600 index).

When we finished our screen, only four names turned up. Apparently, it's tougher than it looks to stay in the green in September.

Company

Ticker

Price (9/6/07)

Cooper Companies

COO

$50.18

J2 Global Communications

JCOM

$35.48

Psychiatric Solutions

PSYS

$36.12

Symantec Corp.

SYMC

$18.98

Kaye, a chartered financial analyst, is an analyst for Standard Poor's Portfolio Services.

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