How to Score

World Cup stocks show a winning pattern--but be very wary

If you buy Weight Watchers stock in December and sell it in March, more often than not you will profit, as investors anticipate the usual swarms of holiday revelers trying to get into shape by swimsuit season. Of course, now that the word is out, traders will try to anticipate the New Year's popand screw up the pattern. So it ever goes on Wall Street, where seasonal stock moves that make sense ultimately disintegrate amid competition to wring the most out of them. Buying retail stocks ahead of Christmas hardly ever works. The "January effect," in which stocks that were sold...

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