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What to watch : Fast start to year bodes well for Wall Street

How the stock market performs in the first month of the year often signals how the rest of the year will go. Generally speaking, when stocks go up in January, the chances of stocks advancing the rest of the year also increase as the positive momentum has a habit of continuing.

A slow start to the year, on the other hand, often spells trouble.

Using that historical trend as a guide, the broad stock market's nearly 2% gain in January could signal more gains to come.

In the years

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