Signs of investors' rush to be seated in defensive areas of the market are clear. Nowhere is the shift to defensive stocks more clear than in the relative strength of the utilities sector. During times of uncertainly, investors move to utilities, which are known for their stable earnings and dependable dividends.
The S&P 500 finished January down nearly 4%, the worst January performance since 2010.Carter Braxton Worth, chief market technician and managing director at Oppenhiemer & Company, noted recently on CNBC. He said the S&P 500, on average, finishes the year lower only 33% of the time. However, when January ends the month lower, the likelihood the S&P 500 ends lower for the year jumps to 58%. In the February through December time period, the S&P 500 is up, on average, just 1.65% when the month of January ends lower. This compares to the average increase of 8.5% when January is positive. He reasoned that the S&P 500 looks likely to decline into the 1,600s.
ITZ noted recently, on how markets performed the year after it had 30% gains--- LINK