“Sell in May and Go Away” is an old investor’s theory that is proving quite true this year.
After four months of big gains to open 2012, stocks have come crashing back to earth since May 1. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are both down 5% since that date despite a June rebound.
The IPO market has basically dried up since Facebook’s (Nasdaq: FB) ill fated May 18 initial public offering. Only four U.S. companies have gone public since.
Even commodities investors are staying away. Oil is down 19% since early May. Spot gold is nearly $100 cheaper than it was two months ago. Silver prices have declined around 13.5%.
But some big-name, blue-chip stocks have managed to buck the “sell in May” trend despite the mass sell-off going on around them. Here are three that have made some serious gains since the beginning of May:
- Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT): Few stocks have made as many strides as the nation’s top retailer has over the past two months. The stock has soared 22% since May 1. That’s not a huge surprise considering that Wal-Mart is known for its reasonable prices and caters to consumers looking to do their shopping on the cheap. When times are tough, more people gravitate to Wal-Mart. That’s how the stock manages to stay afloat even when most stocks are going the other way.
- Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ): Shares of this telecommunications giant are up 10.6% since the beginning of May thanks largely to a nice bounce-back in the first quarter. The company pulled in $1.6 billion last quarter – a marked improvement from the $2 billion in losses it suffered in the previous quarter. At $44.91 a share, Verizon is just a few cents below its 52-week high.
- Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS): Mickey Mouse has rarely been more valuable. The company’s $85 billion market cap is close to an all-time high, and comes as a result of a 7.5% gain since May 1. The world’s largest entertainment company’s first-quarter earnings beat expectations. Then “The Avengers” – which Disney owns the rights to – became the third highest-grossing movie of all time after its early-May release. Combined, those factors have translated to a fast-rising stock.