Still time to sell in May

Last year, on 22 May, having put together a sequence of fourteen positive trading sessions out of a possible fifteen, the FTSE 100 hit a 6,875 high, just as the Federal Reserve’s former chairman Ben Bernanke stood up in Congress and flagged the taper of Quantitative Easing (QE). Market commentators had been falling over themselves to make disparaging remarks that the old stock market adage of “Sell in May and go away” was completely spurious. However, in late May 2013, the selling pressure did take over and a correction began that eventually resulted in over 12% being shaved off the FTSE 100. Well, it only took a whole year, but last week the FTSE 100 finally moved above that May 2013 peak. However, is history about to repeat itself? For the first few weeks of this month, the market had once again put together another impressive run, which included a move to a 14-year high on the FTSE 100. Once more though, it would appear that investors are struggling to justify the expectation. Having already made two unsuccessful attempts to breakout in 2014, it looks as though a third has been seen. A bearish key one-day reversal (one of the most powerful technical single-day patterns) was posted at the recent high as investors rejected the breakout last week. This could now be the harbinger to another sharp correction that proves that selling in May is still a profitable strategy. After a truncated 12 months, punctuated by seemingly endless battles for control between the bulls and the bears, now is not the time to be chasing the FTSE 100 into new high ground.

Read the full report here.

Time to sell in May Richard Perry research