The Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 enjoyed an encouraging start to the year before stumbling into the second quarter. Although domestic economic projections stand strong and the Federal Reserve reiterated its commitment to accommodative monetary policy at its March meeting, US equities entered the quarter on the backfoot. While the broader backdrop remains encouraging and stocks may continue to climb higher gradually in the months ahead, uncertainties remain and seasonality could stymie price action. S&P 500 Average Monthly Returns & Average Monthly VIX The S&P 500 has seen a drawdown in volatility and volume from March to August over the last 30 years on average, suggesting the wild price swings experienced earlier in the year may become less frequent unless a novel catalyst presents itself. That said, the average monthly return during the period is generally bullish, although historical averages mean little to future performances. Regardless, the typical drawdown in market activity in the spring and summer months might make range-bound trading more common.