March Higher?

“March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb.”

What a start to 2019, with the S&P 500 Index up 11.1% after the first two months of 2019 for its best start to a year since 1991. Although we continue to expect the next 10% gain to be quite tough, the good news is that we think new highs could happen later this year and maintain our fair-value target of 3,000 on the S&P 500 Index for 2019.

So what could March bring? Like the old adage suggests, the third month can sport some cold and unpleasant weather, but that usually gives way to milder and pleasant weather by April. Could we be in store for a rocky or smoother month this time around?

“Yes, 2019 is off to a great start, but investors should note that over the past 10 and 20 years, March has been the second strongest month of the year on average, and April has been pretty good as well,” explained Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick.

As our LPL Chart of the day shows, stocks historically have done quite well in the month of March, and they’ve done even better over the past 10- and 20-year periods. March 2019 hosts many big events like a Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) policy meeting, European Central Bank (ECB) policy meeting, Bank of Japan policy meeting, the (tentative) Brexit deadline, NCAA basketball brackets, and continued trade discussions between the United States and China. All of these could cause a good deal of volatility, so be sure to follow LPL Research all month as we closely monitor all of these big events.

Stocks Have Done Quite Well in March

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