Where will stocks head in 2024?
You could look for answers in dozens of different places... You could focus on what's next for the economy. You could do a deep dive into market fundamentals. Or you could analyze the Fed's next move and decide if it's bullish or bearish.
I've got a much simpler way to answer that question, though.
Stocks are set to head higher this year because good years tend to follow good years.
Last year was a great year for investors. Stocks rose 26%. And 2023's strong finish tells us stocks could jump 19% this year.
Let me explain...
It might surprise you. But years with gains of 20% or more aren't rare at all for the U.S. stock market.
They've happened 21 times – last year included – since 1950. That's more than a quarter of the time.
Stocks also tend to keep winning after those big years. The market was up by 10% or more 55% of the time a year after a 20%-plus gain. And the overall probability of profits was 80%. That's better than the typical 73% probability of gains in a random year.
What's more, how we ended 2023 points to massive upside potential this year.
Specifically, stocks had an incredible run in November and December. The S&P 500 Index was up 14% in those two months. Take a look...
This was the best November and December we've seen since 2020. And aside from that year, it's the best end to a year we've seen since 1950.
It's rare to end a year with this kind of powerful two-month run. We've only seen six other November and December gains of 10% or more since 1950.
That means this type of year-end setup has only happened 13% of the time. But when it does happen, the year that follows has always been a big winner. Take a look...
I've written it over and over again in DailyWealth... Owning stocks for the long haul is a nearly foolproof way to build wealth. The market has produced 9.1% annual gains since 1950. Few assets can compete with those long-term returns.
Still, you can do much better if you own stocks at the right times. And buying after a 10%-plus gain in November and December is the right time.
Similar setups led to 6.5% gains in three months, 12.8% gains in six months, and 19.4% gains over the next year. That's more than double the typical annual return for stocks.
The odds of big gains are almost certain, too. That's because stocks were higher a year later 100% of the time. Even better, stocks were up by 11% or more 100% of the time a year later.
Many investors are unsure of where stocks will head this year. But good years follow good years. A powerful year-end rally all but ensures more gains will follow.
The data points to double-digit upside this year. That's one more reason why we want to own stocks today.
Small-cap stocks staged a huge breakout in the final months of 2023. They whipsawed from a 52-week low to a 52-week high in just eight weeks. That's exactly what we like to see – because this kind of move means the trend is in our favor... Read more here.
Despite what you might have heard, the "Magnificent Seven" wasn't the only reason the market went up in 2023. One signal shows we're in the middle of a broad and healthy bull market. And that underlying strength bodes well for the coming year... Learn more here.