Sell in May and Go Away - Explained
Each spring, the same phrase pops up for stock investors: "Sell in May and go away." It's important to track, as generally stocks go down, and so do rates.
That question is whether or not stock market investors will see “Sell in May and go away” this season. Yahoo Finance tells us that the full axiom was originally, "Sell in May and go away, and come on back on St. Leger's Day.” It has its roots in the city of London. Financial professionals would go on holiday in May for approximately four months to escape the summer heat and return for the St. Leger derby in mid-September. Traders and bankers in the U.S. appropriated the aphorism over the years and condensed it to its current form.
The current form is based on the historical tendency for the stock market to produce its best gains between Halloween and May Day (the so-called “winter” months) and to produce well-below-average returns the other six months of the year (the “summer” months).
We did not see “Sell in May” last year, as the stock markets were on a big surge higher after the huge losses seen in March due to the shutdowns. But with stocks at record high levels and high market volatility, there is a possibility of a move lower in stock prices after earnings season winds down at the end of the month. Despite never-ending stimulus, which stocks love, they cannot go straight up, and corrections big and small are always healthy and expected.
If this were to occur, it could shift some investing dollars from stocks into bonds, which would help to further stabilize or cap the recent rise in mortgage rates that was seen from mid-January until the end of March.
If "Sell in May" does not take place this year, do not get too worried. The Federal Reserve continues to try and hold rates at historically low levels and will do so until we see full employment and ideal inflation. Can mortgage rates increase marginally if the economy continues to grow? Yes, that would be normal in an an expanding economy. If the economy is strong, and if the job market continues to rebound, modestly higher rates should not be a deterrent to homeownership.
Bottom line: Rates are still historically low, and now is still a great time to either refinance or consider purchasing a home.
Source: Mortgage Market Guide