Last year I showed that the week following September options expiration has historically been the most bearish week of the year. 2011 didn’t do anything to make the stats look any more bullish. Below is an updated chart showing the persistently poor performance since 1961.
As you can see the bearish tendency has been pretty consistent over the last 51 years. There was a stretch in the late 80’s where there was a series of mild up years. Since 1990 it has been pretty much all downhill.