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Ben Carlson

A Remarkable Run for Stocks Gets More Extraordinary

This could be the first calendar year with positive returns every month.
There may be a turn down the line.

There may be a turn down the line.

Photographer: John Phillips/Getty Images

With a 2 percent gain in September, the S&P 500 Index has set a record: positive returns  in each of the first 10 months of the year. There’s never been a full calendar year when this has happened every month.

Going back to November 2016, the index has ripped off 12 consecutive monthly gains. The S&P hasn’t had a down quarter since the third quarter of 2015, a streak of eight in a row without a loss. Since the start of 2013, 18 of the past 19 quarters have been positive. And it’s not like stocks are melting up either. They are going up slowly as volatility is slowly going down.