Thursday, January 17, 2013

Years That the S&P 500 Never Went Negative

Last year the S&P 500 was positive for the entire year--it didn't close in the red YTD on any single day, and so far in 2013 the streak continues.  While there was little fanfare over the S&P 500's perfectly positive year, the occurrence was actually pretty rare.

Scanning data of the S&P 500 since 1957 produced only three other years that the index started the year positive and never closed negative on a YTD basis.  Below are the charts of those years: 1958, 1964, 1976 and 2012.  The returns in these years were 43%, 16%, 23% and 16% respectively.  An initial run of the data produced 12 years that were almost perfect, but 8 of those were lower on the first day of trading before heading higher for the rest of the year.

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