History suggests that a tough month is ahead for stocks

After three great months for stocks, February could bring some market gloom, according to MKM Partners chief market technician Jonathan Krinsky.

Krinsky points out that over the past 40 years, February has been the S&P 500's weakest month within the generally strong November to April period; stocks have risen a mere 0.06 percent in the average February, according to his work.

The short month has been crueler in years following elections. In the postelection Februaries since 1977, the S&P has fallen by 1.85 percent on average.

To his historical analysis Krinsky mixes in the fact that the market has gone 75 days without a daily decline of 1 percent or more. To him, this suggests that a slide of such magnitude is ahead — and "once you have that, you tend to see weaker-than-average returns over the next couple weeks."

All in all, Krinsky expects to see the S&P slip 3 to 6 percent in the weeks ahead. This dip would serve as a "welcome buying opportunity," he added Monday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

The S&P 500 actually was trading down 1 percent for a bit on Monday, but managed to close the day 0.6 percent lower. That marked the market's third-straight losing session, but the S&P is still up about 1.9 percent in January. It rose 1.8 percent in December and 3.4 percent in November.

Taking a value investors' perspective, Eddy Elfenbein of the Crossing Wall Street blog agrees that the market could be set to slide 5 to 7 percent as earnings estimates come down, which would break a long period of placidity.

Like Krinsky, Elfenbein made clear that he doesn't want to "overstate this."

"It's probably a February and March story … and once that's out of the way, I think it looks very good for stocks," he said Monday on "Trading Nation."


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Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer. She is co-anchor of the 10AM ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET), broadcast from Post 9 at the New York Stock Exchange.

In March 2018, Eisen was named co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

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