Market Commentary February 2019

January 2019 was the best month on the S&P 500 since January 2018. We all know what a strong January brought us in 2018. Still, good Januaries generally are identified with better-than-average stock years. Since 1980 on the S&P 500, average capital appreciation for all years is 9.8%. For years in which January finished higher, however, the average gain is 15.2% – even including last year’s decline of 6.2%. Moreover, up Januaries are a better predictor of up years than down Januaries are a predictor of down years. Down Januaries accurately predicted a down year on the S&P 500 just 40% of the time since 1980. Up Januaries have accurately predicted an up year 83% of the time.