We are on tap to start the year with a positive January, February, and March. Over the past 30 years, this has happened just nine times on the S&P 500
(INDEXSP:.INX). Clearly this shows we’re off to a good start, but what does it mean? Is a good start like this bullish or bearish for the rest of the year?
The good news is that a good start to the year looks to be a good sign for further strength. Looking at the nine times the SPX has started the year off with three straight positive months, the entire year has been positive every single time with an average return of 17.56%. And just one out of nine (1987) was the April to December time frame in the red.
Here are the returns on those nine occurrences.
Now, let’s take a longer-term look at things. We have Dow
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) data going back to 1900 and since then the Dow has started the year up the first three months 22 times. Impressively, 21 times the full year was up, with 1930 being the only year in the red this time. Looking at the April to December time frame, things aren’t quite as bullish as before, but it was still higher 16 out of 22 times for an average jump of 6.90% the last nine months of the year.
Here are all the instances since 1900 and the returns.
So there you go. This is just one way to look at things, but history is on the bulls side this time. As I’ve said before, we’ve done many studies on strong markets, but in the end, strength usually begets strength. This is yet another example that the bull market could very well still have legs.
This article by Ryan Detrick, CMT, was originally published on Schaeffer's Investment Research.
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