Pope Francis is visiting the United States, with stops in Washington, Philadelphia, and New York City.
Inspired by a tweet from Bloomberg’s Tracy Alloway, we decided to take a look at what’s happened in the stock market after visits by the Pope in the past.
Four popes have visited the United States: Pope Paul VI visited in 1965, Pope John Paul II visited a total of 7 times in his long reign, Pope Benedict XVI visited in 2008, and Pope Francis in September 2015.
Intriguingly, three of those visits came shortly before major market downturns. John Paul II’s visit in September 1987 came just over a month before the Black Monday crash, and his January 1999 visit was near the top of the tech bubble. Benedict XVI’s April 2008 visit coincided with the early stages of the financial crisis.
Here’s the S&P 500’s adjusted closing price, with arrows indicating each US papal visit:
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