It's a pretty reliable winning streak: 17 previous times since 1982, the Standard & Poor's 500 index has gained 10 percent or more in a quarter, and in all but two cases, that has been followed by a gain in the following quarter.

The two exceptions:

_ In the fourth quarter of 2001, the S&P rose 10.3 percent, but that was a bounce off of heavy losses in September, when the market reopened after the Sept. 11 attacks. The country was also just beginning to recover from a recession that ended in November 2001. In the first quarter of 2002, the S&P edged down 0.06 percent.

_ In the first quarter of 1991, the S&P gained 13.6 percent. Then it lost 1.1 percent in the second quarter. The economy was coming fitfully out of the 1990-91 recession and the Gulf War.