The S&P 500’s 1.37% gain yesterday was the sixth best start to March (1st trading day of the month) in the index’s history. Below is a quick table highlighting all 1%+ gains on the first trading day of March for the S&P 500 since 1928.
You might not remember, but stocks started off last March with a bang as well. The S&P was up 2.39% to start March 2016, and the index went on to gain another 4.11% for the remainder of the month. Prior to last year, 2010 was the last time the S&P gained more than 1% to start March, and just like 2016, the S&P gained another 4%+ for the remainder of the month. Including this year, the S&P has seen gains of 1%+ on the first trading day of March thirteen times (out of 90 years total). In the prior 12 years, the S&P averaged a decline of 0.15% for the remainder of the month. But that average decline is significantly impacted by the 25.8% decline seen for the remainder of March 1938. If you take the median instead of the average, the rest-of-month change is +1.38%. In the 77 other years where the S&P didn’t start March with a 1%+ gain, the index has seen a median rest-of-month gain of 1%.