It’s that time again: Investors are asking if they should “sell in May and go away.” Especially this year.
May isn’t actually the S&P 500’s worst month seasonally (it’s November), but the second quarter always brings worries about historical patterns of selloffs, said Bank of America Merrill Lynch currency strategist Adarsh Sinha in a note.
This year, seasonality coincides with a global pandemic and US-China tensions. So the stock market could turn turbulent again.
President Donald Trump threatened last week to impose tariffs on China over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
Extreme moves like the US canceling its debt obligations held by China have been floated — but they’re less likely. “[T]he bigger risk would be the sustainability of the Phase One trade agreement from January,” Sinha wrote.
China will find it hard to meet import commitments and while there is an ‘escape clause’ for unforeseeable events, the US may start to press the issue,” he added.
Back to the trade drama we go.