The month of March is nearly halfway through and volatility has begun to pick up. Whereas the S&P 500 was up around 2% month to date as of this time last week, currently the index is down over 2.5%. As shown below, since the end of WWII March ranks in the middle of the pack with regards to the average spread between its Intra month high and low (on a closing basis). That compares with months like October—the most volatile of the year—which has averaged an Intra month range of just under 8%.
Although historically March might not be the most volatile month, in recent years that Intra month volatility has kicked up. In the chart below we show the spread between March’s Intra month highs and lows for each year since the end of WWII. Over time, there has consistently been some ebb and flow in this reading with some outlier years in particularly volatile times like the late 1990s and early 2000s and then of course 2020. October has historically been known as a month for market turnarounds, but March has become increasingly active on that front as well. Click here to learn more about Bespoke’s premium stock market research service.