When trying to figure out the stock market's direction for a certain period, it's always interesting to look at the market's performance during that period in previous years
So you may find it interesting to learn that in 18 of the last 20 years when the S&P 500 index has risen moderately—less than 15 percent — up to Thanksgiving, it has climbed further until year-end, Jason Goepfert, CEO of Sundial Capital Research, told CNBC. "When it [the S&P 500] does decline, typically it's very, very small," he said.
This year, the S&P 500 has returned 11.96 percent through Monday.
But before you get too excited, note that since 1950, in the 28 years which the S&P rose 10 percent or more by Thanksgiving, the results weren't quite as strong. In 68 percent of those cases, the market continued to advance after Thanksgiving, according to Goepfert.
That suggests "buying pressure earlier in the year exhausted some of the post-holiday enthusiasm," he said.
Meanwhile, Wall Street Journal columnist E.S. Browning says the fact that equity strategists aren't predicting large advances for the market next year may actually be a bullish sign. Many strategists forecast gains of 5 percent or less.
"It is another sign that investors aren’t yet slipping into the excess optimism that pushed stocks to unsustainable levels before the collapses of 2000 and 2008," Browning writes.
Some others agree.
"If people have expectations that are sensible they aren’t as likely to build investment plans that are infeasible," Seth Masters, chief investment officer at Bernstein Global Wealth Management, told Browning. Masters forecasts a total return of about 7 percent next year.
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