The U.S. stock market got off to a strong start in 2019, and history shows Wall Street may be in store for more gains, according to data compiled by Ned Davis Research.
The rose in each of the first three months of the year, something that had only happened 22 times before, the data shows. The broad index has followed up those annual starts with an average gain of 7.23% over the next nine months.
A rise of that magnitude would push the S&P 500 to 3,117, well above the all-time high of 2,940.91 set in late September. On Monday, the index traded less than 2% away from its record.
Stocks rallied in the first quarter of 2019 as the Federal Reserve indicated it would not further tighten monetary policy in 2019. Equities also got a lift amid perceived progress in U.S.-China trade talks.
"I do think that trend evidence leans bullish," Ned Davis, founder of his namesake research firm, wrote in a note Monday. However, he cautioned investors not to make an investment decision solely on historical statistics like these. "My own belief is that people should be suspicious of studies that look 'too good' over shortened date ranges."