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What Does the Weak Start Mean for the Rest of the Year?

  • The S&P 500's -5.5% decline for the first two months of the year marked the 19th year since 1929 that the benchmark fell in each of the first two months (-0.4% in January).  Although this drop has been worrisome to many investors, it is less than the median decline of -7.1% (table below).  The message from the table below calls for more choppy market action followed by a year-end rally.
  • In only one previous case (1948) did the February low mark the low for the year.
  • On average, the low was made on 9/23. The median rally from the post-February low to the end of the year was +10.3%.  From 2/28 to 12/31, however, the median decline was -3/8%.
  • Several election years made the list, and they were stronger post-February, on average.  The low was made on 7/24, the median year-end rally was +13.1%, and the February-December median gain was +6.5%.
Stacey Wall serves as CEO of Pinnacle Trust.  You can reach Stacey by emailing him at or by calling him at 601-957-0323.
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