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Will the Ides of March Stifle the Rally?

Wednesday, 13 Mar 2013 | 10:13 AM ET
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose for the tenth consecutive day on Thursday, posting its longest winning streak since November 1996. The index is now up about 11 percent so far this year.

Will the Dow continue on its upward trend or will the Ides of March stifle the rally?

Ides of March is a date in the Roman calendar that corresponds to March 15, which became notorious as the day when Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C. It also coincides with a time of year when an abundance of portfolio maneuvers take place ahead of the end of the quarter.

Since 1950, there have been only twelve other instances when the Dow was up more than 8 percent going into mid-March. In ten of those years, the index continued to build momentum one, two and three-months out without any significant pullbacks.

(Read more: Dow's Best 1st Quarter Since 1998?)

During bull markets, defined by a prolonged period in which stock prices increase at a faster pace than their historical averages, the Dow realized gains of over 4 percent three-months later, according to Morningstar Data.

The following table displays the Dow Jones percentage change in the months following the Ides of March when the index was up more than 8 percent.

DJIA Up > 8% Ahead of Ides of March
Dec. 31 to March 15 1-Mos Later 2-Mos Later 3-Mos Later
2012 8.47% -3.04% -4.68% -3.66%
1999 8.45% 5.06% 9.59% 6.39
1998 8.78% 4.76% 7.08% 2.7%
1996 9.14% 0.14% 0.72% 1.15%
1991 11.95% -0.5% -2.81% 1.77%
1987 19.18% 1.26% 3.14% 5.27%
1986 15.91% 0.7% 0.87% 4.54%
1983 9.17% 4.46% 8.66% 10.37%
1976 14.32% 0.61% 1.86% 1.17%
1975 25.51% 4.33% 11.02% 6.59%
1971 8.26% 3.3% 3.07 -0.11%
1967 8.7% 0.67% 3.32% 3.42%

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