Yes, you read the above headline correctly. For all the talk about how 2013 is off to an exceptional start, it is hard to believe that heading into President's Day weekend this year, the S&P 500 was actually up less (6.5%) than it was in either of the two previous years.
As shown in the intraday chart below, heading into President's Day in 2011 the S&P 500 was up 6.8%, while in 2012 the S&P 500 was up 8.2%. Heading into President's Day this year, however, the S&P 500 was up a relatively "meager" 6.5%. One caveat to this year relative to the last two is that there were fewer trading days leading up to President's Day in 2013 (32) than there were in 2011 (34) and 2012 (33), but, even still, it is surprising nonetheless.