Stocks log strongest 1st quarter in 12 years - USATODAY.com Don't be lulled by the lazy calm that has settled over Wall Street the past several weeks. The stock market is on a roll. Stocks are coming off their best first-quarter performance in a dozen years, up 4.9% year-to-date, says Standard & Poor's. It's the fourth consecutive up quarter, the market's best streak since the five-quarter run that ended after the third quarter of 2007, based on the broad Wilshire 5000 index. The quarter's gains might not seem like much considering the jumps during the past three quarters as stocks roared back from bear market lows. Remember, though, that halfway through this quarter the market was on the verge of its first correction, or drop of 10%, since the bull market began. The market's strong performance during the first quarter has some investors believing the momentum can last, especially since the first quarter historically hasn't been one of the market's best.