Analyzing March Momentum: U.S. Stock Market Post-Strong February

Bespoke observes that March typically delivers moderate results for U.S. stocks, lacking the standout gains seen in other months. Despite a successful February for U.S. stocks, there’s speculation over whether investors might opt to cash in on those gains at the beginning of March.

Reflecting on historical data since 1953, Bespoke finds a varied response in stock performance following a February rally of over 4% in the S&P 500. The first day of March typically yields modest gains, with the index closing higher just over half the time.

However, the trend tends to shift afterward, with the fourth and fifth trading days of March historically showing slight declines compared to other March months.

While these patterns aren’t definitive, Bespoke suggests that some early weakness in March wouldn’t be surprising.

As March begins, U.S. stocks opened in a subdued manner, with the Nasdaq Composite continuing to outperform, having settled at a record high in the previous session.

Looking back at historical trends, March’s performance for the S&P 500 has been fairly average since 1928, with gains that don’t particularly stand out. However, when March follows strong performances in January and February, the results tend to be weak.

In such instances since 1928, the S&P 500 has experienced significant monthly declines, according to Bespoke’s data.

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