US markets just wrapped up a winning July, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both notching their fifth positive month in a row, CNN reported.
But August is here, and that often means trouble for markets. The last time the S&P 500 was on a winning streak this long was in 2021, when it was positive for seven months in a row — until August hit and ended the victory run.
The well-known Wall Street adage says “sell in May and go away”, because the summer, and August in particular, marks a historically volatile period for the stock market. That’s largely because so many investors take vacations and there are decreased trading volumes. This reduced activity can lead to increased volatility.
On average, August has been the worst performing month for stocks since 1986, according to Morningstar, CNN reported.
And this August may be choppier than usual because it’s particularly busy for late summer. It’s chock full of economic data, a key conference and big corporate reports. That means the dwindling number of traders who remain must take extra care in a such a potentially volatile environment.
Apple and Amazon both report this week, and all eyes will be on these tech titans for clues about the mood among US consumers.
“This week’s Apple earnings report is critical for markets, as Apple is not only the market’s most valuable company, it’s also a litmus test for consumer spending, which so far has been keeping the economy afloat. But we have been seeing some signs of a consumer slowdown,” said Michael Landsberg, chief investment officer at Landsberg Bennett Private Wealth Management on Monday.
With a valuation of $3 trillion, Apple is the most valuable publicly traded company, and its report could easily swing the direction of the markets, CNN reported.