LPL Research Market Signals Podcast

Sell in May?

LPL Research

LPL Research punches holes in the “Sell in May” axiom and reflects on how the economic data continues to come in stronger than expected.

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May is here and with it comes the worst six months of the year for stocks, which is also known as “Sell in May” and is one of the more popular investment axioms. The LPL Financial Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick and Equity Strategist Jeff Buchbinder will discuss if you should sell this May, along with a look at a historically strong earnings season, and some recent economic data.

Time to Sell?

As the chart shows, the next six months are indeed the worst six months of the year—up only 1.7%—but as Ryan notes, stocks are still up during this timeframe. Jeff points out that after nearly a 90% rally, maybe we are due for a break or consolidation, but this would be a buying opportunity and would be perfectly normal. Don’t forget though, stocks have been higher in May seven of the past eight years: So maybe we should sell in June, not May. Lastly, these “worst” six months have actually gained in eight of the past ten years, so nothing is as easy as it seems. 

Earnings Update

Jeff discusses that first quarter earnings are now expected to be up more than 22% above previous expectations, with growth tracking at 46% year-over-year. Additionally, 88% of S&P 500 Index companies that have reported and beaten expectations, while revenue is up an impressive 9%, as well. Stocks have had a great run, but earnings drive long-term stock gains and we do feel this helps to justify stocks are current (and likely higher) levels down the road. Not to be outdone, but estimates for the next four quarters have risen an impressive 3.3% since earnings season began. 

Economic Roundup

Q1 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) came in at 6.4%, with next quarter expected to be closer to 10%. Ryan observes that the odds are getting quite high that the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) will say the recession ended quite soon, with the summer time the likely time the expansion started. Jeff remarks on savings soaring to 28% and how that comes out to $6 trillion (the second higher number ever), which really is a lot of money on the sidelines. All in all, the economic data continues to come in extremely strong as the economy opens up faster than expected.

Tune in now

Listen to the entire podcast to get the LPL strategists’ views and insights on current market trends in the US and global economies. To listen to previous podcasts go to Market Signals podcast. You can subscribe to Market Signals on iTunesGoogle Podcasts, or Spotify and find us on the LPL Research YouTube channel.




This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. Any economic forecasts set forth in the podcast may not develop as predicted and are subject to change.

References to markets, asset classes, and sectors are generally regarding the corresponding market index. All indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment and do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

Any company names noted herein are for educational purposes only and not an indication of trading intent or a solicitation of their products or services. LPL Financial doesn’t provide research on individual equities. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

All index data is from FactSet.

All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

This Research material was prepared by LPL Financial, LLC. 


For Public Use — Tracking #: 1-05139593 (05/22)