It’s May Day, and it’s more than the traditional first day of (real) Spring and the worker’s holiday. It’s also the day that the old stock market adage “Sell in May and go away” kicks in. Why is that? It’s hard to say exactly why, but Wall Street traditionally takes a long summer break. The S&P 500 since 1928 has risen on average 1.83% from May to October, but 4.98% from November through April. The summer is also a period of high volatility and danger, so smart investors often skip the warm seasons.
Not this year. The huge rise of 9.3% in the S&P 500 so far in 2013 might be enough to scare some people into profit-taking, getting out while the getting is good, but many advisers say you should stay in this year. That includes Nouriel Roubini, better known as Dr. Doom, the New York University Econ prof who famously predicted the housing crash. The faith in the stock market is impressive, but is it realistic?