U.S. stocks are on track to close the month with their best January performance since 1997, when the S&P 500 index rose 6.13 percent.
Since 1928, there have been 24 instances when the S&P posted a gain of 4 percent or more in January.
And during those occurrences, the index finished up for the year 79 percent of the time with an average gain of 14 percent.
Indeed, the last five times the S&P 500 rose 4 percent or more in January, the index posted a yearly average increase of 23 percent.
Will history repeat itself in 2012?