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ResearchThe Weekly (2/9)

The Weekly (2/9)

Feb 9, 2024

There's an old saying in the stock market that comes to mind each winter: "As goes January, so goes the year."

What does that mean exactly? Using history as a guide, the tag line suggests that a positive January is a bullish sign for stocks. 

Coined by Yale Hirsch, the creator of the Stock Trader’s Almanac in 1972, the catchphrase leans on empirical data to highlight a trend that since 1950, the S&P 500 has posted an average annual return of 16.8% during years that included a positive January. Furthermore, the index generated positive annual returns during these years 89% of the time. 

In contrast, when the index traded lower in January, annual returns dropped to -1.7%.

That's all great, but what happened this January you might ask? The S&P 500 closed out the month with a gain of 1.6%. 

Similar to 2023, concentration was the name of the game as a few mega-caps did most of the heavy lifting. Shares of Nvidia (NVDA), Microsoft (MSFT), and Meta (META) contributed ~80% of the S&P 500’s total return during the month.

That concentration playbook played into the hands of our actively managed offerings as all three strategies continued their momentum from 2023 and outperformed their benchmarks (feel free to peek through full performance here). 

While history shows truth to the January Barometer, there is a bit less than meets the eye here. Why? Because the same can be said for any month, as the table from Fidelity shows below.

Markets usually follow a trend, so if any month is up or down, the surrounding months tend to show the same.  Nevertheless, January’s gain – as well as the new all-time highs – show that the market has momentum.

The January Barometer is not perfect, but it’s one piece of a broader mosaic that allows us to understand where the markets may be heading. Despite shorter-term overbought conditions, the technical backdrop for the broader market remains bullish, in our eyes, further supported by Hirsch’s classic saying. 

We’ve been encouraged by folks leaning into the recent momentum and have seen clients taking advantage of a methodical approach when legging back into the market. Recurring deposits from Smart Cash into one or more of our investment strategies offer a compelling way for long-term investors to not only mitigate the risk of mistiming the market, but the opportunity to use the market’s volatility to their advantage. 

As always, our team is working hard behind the scenes and we welcome you to schedule a time to chat with us live here to the extent you’re interested.

Have a great weekend,

– Your Titan team


Disclosures:

As of writing, META, MSFT, and NVDA are holdings in Titan's Flagship strategy.

The Apollo Diversified Credit Fund and Carlyle Tactical Private Credit Fund are among the third party funds offered on Titan’s platform. Refer to the "Various Registered Investment Company products" paragraph within our main disclosures below for essential information about the nature of these third party funds, including interval funds' specific risks and considerations.

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