Licheng Sun, Chris Stivers and Ajay Kongera
The January Barometer states that the sign of the stock-market’s returns in January can predict the subsequent 11-month stock-market return over February–December. Cooper et al. (2010) show that the best way to use the January Barometer is to be long following positive Januarys and invest in T-bills following negative Januarys. In this study, similar to the January Barometer, we find that the 11-month average return following upward-sloping yield curves is significantly higher than the 11-month average return following downward-sloping yield curves. Further, we find that trading strategies that combine the trading signals from the January Barometer and the yield curve comfortably outperform the best strategy that relies on the January Barometer alone. We show that the combined ‘January barometer-yield curve’ strategy has lower risks and higher Sharpe ratios.