Sell in May and Go Away – Ep. 350

Market Tends to Produce Better Returns in the First 4 Months of the Year

There is an old Wall Street adage: “Sell in May and Go Away”. The reason for that saying is that seasonally, the market tends to produce better returns in the first 4 months of the year, January through April, and then, historically, beginning in May and throughout the summer, the market can generally go down, and I think the time to buy back in is typically September/October.  There are a lot of big down days, down months, crashes, so get out of the market in May, go away and then come back later in the year and buy back what you sold.

Selling Started Right out of the Gate

Today was May 1 and it looked like a lot of people were not going to wait to sell; they were selling right on the open.  The Dow was down all day.  At the worst, it was down better than 300 points but it pared its losses significantly, down just 64.  But the NASDAQ, which was never actually down that much (when the Dow was down 300 the NASDAQ was down only about 25) the NASDAQ ended up positive 64.  The S&P was up just under 7 points.

Facebook Getting into the Dating Business

Stocks were under pressure all day. I think the turnaround in Facebook – Facebook ended up a couple of percent.  Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to try to clamp down – I think he said he would have 20,000 people working in compliance.  They also announced that they are going into the dating business.  I’m surprised it has taken Facebook so long to get into that space.  It seems such an obvious fit. They already have everybody’s profile. I think some of the other online sites, Match Group which owns Plenty of Fish are falling.  It’s like Amazon stepping into your market.

Heading toward 20,000

The market turned around and maybe that news lifted the NASDAQ, but to me, it was a weak day, the market was generally under pressure.  The Dow did manage to hold onto the 20,000 mark.  We were well below it – we were close to 23800.  It is really going to get interesting is when the Dow gets down to 20,000.  I think that’s where we’re headed.