Following a strong rally to close out 2012, the S&P 500 picked up in 2013 right where it left off with a gain of 2% Wednesday. 2012 was unique for the S&P 500 in that the index never had a daily close that was below the closing level for 2011. In other words, the index was up YTD every single day of 2012. Going back to 1928, there have only been eight other years where the index went an entire year of trading up YTD every single day, with the last occurrence coming more than thirty years ago in 1979.
With today's gain, the S&P 500 is building up a nice cushion for a possible repeat of 2012. Going back to 1928, there has only been one other time where the index was up YTD every day for two consecutive years (1975 and 1976). Finally, of the eight years highlighted to the right, the average gain of the S&P 500 the following year has been a gain of 10.52% with positive returns 88% of the time.