new york stock exchange tradersREUTERSTraders celebrate at the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange in New York December 31, 1997.

The S&P 500 fell 1.7% on Tuesday, erasing all the gains for the year.

And on Wednesday, the index fell another 0.2%.

The major indices are struggling to hang onto gains as investors eye the strengthening dollar and the Federal Reserve’s coming rate hikes.

In an afternoon email from the New York Stock Exchange floor, veteran trader Rich Barry wrote that this volatile March has some traders thinking optimistically:  

“Bull traders are quick to note an interesting parallel between the market’s year-to-date performance and its movements last year at this time: Down January, up February, down start in March… Nice, right? Especially since the remainder of 2014 was mostly UP… Keeping it positive down here folks…”

Earlier, we highlighted comments from Deutsche Bank’s David Bianco that the S&P 500 could fall up to 9% before the sell off is over.

We’ll see.

stocksGoogle FinanceThe S&P 500 year to date.