Chart of the Weekend: The S&P 500 Total Return Index YTD

As you can tell from the following chart, the S&P 500 Index has not had a very good 2015. Through yesterday’s close, the S&P 500 Total Return Index (includes dividends) is up 1.95% YTD.

SandP 500 YTD 07-10-2015

The trendline is not very steep.

It will be interesting to see what the rest of 2015 has in store. I’m not expecting much. At this point, I don’t really care. We’re still saving for retirement and up markets at this point, don’t help us much.

As Goes January…?

The S&P 500 Index was down 3.46% in January. There’s a saying that goes something like “As goes January…”

Well, based on history, that’s not necessarily true. Take a look at the following two graphics. The first one is all the returns (these are total returns) for the month of January listed in order from worst to best. The other column shows the total return for the remainder of that year (February – December). The second graphic summarizes those results, looking only at the Januaries with negative returns.

S&P 500 Januaries

Negative Januaries

Of the 33 Januaries with a negative return, 18 of them were followed by a positive return for the remainder of the year. Interestingly, of the 56 Januaries with a positive return, only 11 of them had a negative return for the February – December that followed.

Basically, January’s return doesn’t mean too much when it’s negative&151;at least as far as I have looked at it. I’m sure the results hinge more on where the January return is in a market cycle (not good for January 2014 if you look at 2013’s amazing year).

Anyway, I post the info and you form your own opinions.

2013 Total Returns for the S&P 500 and Other Indexes

2013

Wow!

What a year.

• The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 29.65%

• The S&P 500 Index was up 32.39%

• The S&P MidCap 400 Index was up 33.50%

• The S&P SmallCap 600 was 41.31%

Of the ten indexes I keep track of here at AFM, 7 were up. Of the three that were down, Gold was by far the worst, losing 28.24% for the year.

The S&P 500’s 2013 return was its best since 1997 (it ranks 14th in the 88 years that I have data for).

You can view the full report (along with the numbers for 2011 and 2012) by clicking on the following graphic.

Index Performance - December 2013