Seasonal Trades on a Spring Rally

04/26/2017 2:45 am EST

Focus: STRATEGIES

Jeffrey Hirsch

Editor-in-Chief, The Stock Trader's Almanac and Almanac Investor

The best six months for owning stocks can begin in October or early November and usually lasts until April or early May for DJIA and S&P 500, explains Jeffrey Hirsch, editor of Stock Trader's Almanac.

However, seasonal strength for technology stocks, measured by NASDAQ, tends to last until June. Due to its substantial weighting in technology, the S&P 500 also demonstrates a tendency to rally from late April until early June.

chart 1

This trade has been profitable 62.9% of the time over the longer-term however; its recent track record has been rough, declining seven times in the last eleven years.

Going long the September futures contract on or about April 27 and holding until on or about June 7 has worked 23 times in 35 years.

The key to this trade is overall market trend and proper trade management as numerous sizable losses and gains have occurred over the trade’s history. This is a shorter-term trade, for nimble traders.

chart 2

There are several ways to take advantage of this Spring rally. One is through the futures markets traded at the CME.

Stock traders may wish to explore trading SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), which allows one to use options. The length of time this seasonality is in play makes leveraged ETFs like ProShares Ultra S&P500 (SSO) worth consideration as well.

SSO could be considered on dips below $84.30. If purchased, an initial stop loss of $82.40 is suggested. This is just below SSO’s recent intra-day low of $82.48 on April 13. If purchased, we will look to take profits when SSO trades above $87 or when we issue our Seasonal MACD Sell signal.

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