“Sell in May and Go Away” is not the manta here. I prefer “Sell in May, Investors Are Not Going Away.” Sure the markets have been taking a beating throughout May, but there is more to it than just counting the bad days. I talked here about the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the month of May, or May 3 – May 20, giving back on average 140 points from intraday lows on down days. From May 3 – May 25, now with three more trading days added-in, the DJIA has given back on average 173 points from intraday lows on again, down days. May 25 was very ugly in early trading. The DJIA was down well below the 10,000 mark yet still managed to give back a near 270 points from the intraday low to close slightly above 10,000 at 10,043.75. That says something…
Maybe it says market analysts and reporters doubt the retail investor more than they should. We all saw the declines throughout 2008/09 and many unfortunately do regret not “Buying Low,” back in spring of 2009. However, it does not take a genius to come to the realization that now is what could turn out to be a fantastic buying opportunity for U.S. equities.
U.S. consumer confidence leaped to 63.3 in May from an April reading of 57.7. This was the third consecutive month where consumer confidence increased. Also, the recent slide in oil prices, which alas has been viewed as a negative for the markets, really is a relief to consumers who are enticed to fuel our economy even more when they pay less at the pump. Furthermore, numerous companies have been buying back stock which clearly suggests that corporate executives do see undervalued stock prices. To name a few, consider Genzyme (GENZ) buying back $2 billion of its stock, Union Bancshares (NASDAQ:UNB) buying back 2500 shares/quarter through 2011, Ameriprise Financial (NYSE:AMP) repurchasing $1.5 billion in stock through 2010, and Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) buying back $5 billion in stock over the next several years.
On a final note, James Bullard, President of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, in a news release dated May 25, stated how the sovereign debt crisis in Europe should not be considered a catalyst to derail a global economic recovery. I found it interesting to read his remarks on “Too Big to Fail” and although controversial, the fact that governments will not permit major financial institutions to fail in a sense does eliminate what could be considered a motive for a “double dip.” The release was informative. I encourage all to read it here.
The bottom line – I am still bullish on the U.S. equity markets. I firmly believe that now is a great buying opportunity and I am very happy to have helped several family members establish positions in Altria (NYSE:MO), Bristol-Myers (NYSE:BMY), Exelon (NYSE:EXC) and several other names at the intraday lows on both May 24 and 25.
Full disclosure: Long Altria at time of writing.
Disclosure: Long Altria at time of writing.