The Chinese new year, the Year of the Snake, could leave the stock market snake-bitten.
Sunday ushered in the Chinese New Year but, investors may wish it hadn't. The Year of the Snake is the only one of the 12 Chinese lunar calendar years in which the Standard & Poor's 500 index has a losing record, according to researcher Capital IQ.
Since 1900, the benchmark index is down an average of 2.9 percent in the Year of the Snake, according to Capital IQ. It has risen in only three of the nine snake years since 1900, marking the worst performance of the any of the named lunar years.
Investors will miss the just-departed Year of the Dragon, which has a 10.4% average historical return, according to Capital IQ.
The best showing has come during the Year of the Pig. The S&P is up an average of 12.8 percent in those years and has risen during 78 percent of them.