The Tell: Why investors should dread the month of May—especially this year

The U.S. stock market is preparing to end a positive—but volatile—month of April, and investors may be hoping that performance in May is even better.

History, however, suggests otherwise.

According to the Stock Trader’s Almanac, May is typically a mixed month for the major indexes, and the results are particularly bad in midterm years, as is 2018.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.05% is typically flat over the month of May, historically speaking. Based on data that go back to 1950, it declines 0.02% over the month, the ninth-best monthly performance of the year. Over the past 67 years, the Dow had 35 Mays that were positive, and 32 that were negative.

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