The S&P 500 is off to its best start in four years, but that doesn’t mean it will end that way. Through May 18, the S&P 500 has gained 5.7 percent. In the past decade, two other years have better returns over the same time period, as Bespoke Investment Group noted in research published Friday.
In 2013, the S&P had jumped 17 percent by this time of year, and went on to finish the year up nearly 30 percent. In 2011, the S&P 500 had returned 6.6 percent by May 18, but would to take a tumble in August and would finish the year basically flat.
Bespoke also looked at the 10 years that correlated the most with the start of 2017. During those years, the S&P 500 averaged a gain of 4.7 percent from May 18 through end of the year, with returns positive in seven of the 10 years. But one of those years was 1987, when the stock market took a 14 percent tumble between May 18 and year-end.