S&P 500 on Track for Best Q1 Since 1998

NYSE Clerks in the 1990's
NYSE Clerks in the 1990's

As the S&P 500 aims for its best first quarter since 1998, will investors perceive the news as a bullish sign for the rest of the year?

In the past three months, the S&P index is up 12 percent. Since 1950, there have been 13 other instances when the S&P benchmark rose more than 8 percent in the first quarter. And in each of those times, the index never finished the year with a loss.

In fact, in 12 of those 13 occasions (with the exception of the market crash in 1987), the S&P continued to build upon a strong Q1 gain over the rest of the year.

However, despite strong gains in the first quarter, the pace of increases tended to moderate in the 9 months that followed.

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