February is historically a rocky month for stocks, but it’s bound to perform even worse when January is negative.
Since 1971, when January was negative, the S&P 500 extended its losses into February 72 percent of the time, falling on average 2.4 percent. That ratio stands at 65 percent for the Dow and 57 percent for the Nasdaq.
More recently, however, in 2010, the S&P 500 broke that trend, when it rose 4.23 percent in February, after falling 5.4 percent the previous month. Historically, February ranks as the second-worst performing month of the year for the Dow and S&P 500, and fourth-weakest month for the Nasdaq.
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