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March normally starts one of best times of year for stocks

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Markets are expected to kick off March with reports that show manufacturing remained weak in February but auto sales were decent.

March is historically a good time for stocks, but April is the strongest month, according to Bespoke. The has generally had its best two-month gain — an average 2.66 percent — over the March and April period. The second-best two-month period is November to December, which averaged a 2.61 percent gain. In years when the S&P is down in the first two months of the year, the following two-month performance was still strong — up an average 2.58 percent, Bespoke noted.