April has historically been one of the strongest months of the year for the stock market. Recently, though, the gains have all come in the second half of the month once Tax Day (April 15th) passes.

We ran a screen to find the median change of S&P 500 sectors over the last 12 years from April 2nd through April 15th, which generated the chart below. As shown, the S&P 500 has seen a median decline of 0.70% during this time frame, while just two of eleven sectors have posted median gains.

When we run the same screen but look at the period from April 15th through April 30th, the chart below shows that the S&P 500 has seen a median change of +2.13%. All eleven sectors have posted median gains, and four sectors have gained more than 2% (Cons. Discret., Tech, Industrials, and Real Estate).

Clearly the back half of April has been much stronger than the front half in recent years.

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