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Sell in May, Just Not in the U.S. of A., Stock Performance Shows

  • Asian, European stocks have dropped on average over the summer
  • Treasuries have outperformed U.S. stocks May to mid-September
Markets Ignore Political Risks Until Economic Growth Threatened
Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

With the end of April looming, investors are bound to hear -- and disregard -- the old stock market adage “sell in May and go away, don’t come back ’till St. Leger’s Day.” But there may be some truth in the saying, outside the U.S. at least.

A look at 30 years of data across a variety of assets and geographies shows that while American stocks tend to show positive returns over the May-to-mid-September period, those in Asia and Europe don’t.