With U.S. stocks near record highs and memories of last summer’s volatility still in mind, investors could be forgiven for wondering whether this is the year to “sell in May and go away.”
Stocks have shaken off an early-year rout, but a reading of first-quarter growth for the U.S. economy came in below expectations last week and corporate earnings have been lackluster, clouding the long-term outlook for stocks.
After falling 11% in about the first six weeks of the year, stocks have bounced back, but now at a slower pace. In the six weeks following a Feb. 11 trough, the S&P 500 climbed 11%. In the roughly five weeks after that, it rose 1.4%. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 are off about 3% from their highs set in May of last year.