The simple fact that the SPX posted a gain on the first 4 days of the year is a pretty rare occurrence, with 2018 only being the 9th instance since 1961. While instances have been low, the intermediate-term performance following such strong starts to the year has been impressive. And looking at most timeframes from 50 days to 250 (or more) days, the returns have been strong. Below is the list of instances and their 250-day returns, which is approximately 1 year.
Not only were they all winners, but run-up has outsized drawdown in every instance. I noted the four instances above that were similar to 2018, since they were already making new 200-day highs when the setup triggered. While it is dangerous to read too much into just 8 instances, this may be worth keeping in the back of our minds. I will be interested to see if this year plays out like the rest.
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