A Look Ahead
You have to really hunt to find red in October. October 2015 was a great month for stocks, as the S&P 500 Index rose 8.3% to help take the index from a yearto- date loss of over 9% on August 25, 2015, to a 1% gain as of Friday, October 30, 2015. Only 13 months since 1980 have been better, including only 3 Octobers [Figure 1]. The old market adage that October is the month where bear markets go to die held true. But the strong month raises the bar for markets to add to gains over the rest of the year, as higher stock prices have brought higher valuations. It is interesting to note that nearly all of these strong months came during the early or middle parts of bull markets, with March 2000 being the one notable exception. We look ahead at the calendar to identify catalysts that could potentially help stocks add to recent gains.