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Global markets have been relatively quiet the past three months, but some stocks have seen big returns. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Global markets have been relatively quiet the past three months, but some stocks have seen big returns. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)


Some assets you should and shouldn’t have sold in May Add to ...

It would have been nice to take the summer off, but there was still money to be made in the markets if you didn’t “sell in May and go away.”

It’s safe to say the past three months have been wild on the news and politics front, but global markets have been relatively subdued. Since May 31, the S&P 500 index is up 4 per cent, while volatility has remained remarkably quiet. However, other assets – including some individual stocks – have seen moves of well over 10 per cent in that same time frame, which could leave an investor with some nice returns if they played things right.

Here are a few assets that have seen some notably significant moves this summer – though not all of them were positive for investors.

  • Newmont Mining Corp. is up 22 per cent since May 31, on the back of the strongest start to the year for gold in more than 25 years.
  • Iron ore is up 30 per cent, despite many traders waiting for this boom to die out. In fact, selling in May would have been selling near its most recent bottom.
  • Data storage maker Seagate Technology PLC is up 49 per cent after having its own bottom in May. Since then, the firm has announced job cuts to deal with slowing demand, meaning expenses at the firm should fall.
  • Chesapeake Energy Corp. is up 46 per cent after tumbling quite dramatically in May when concerns over the firm’s debt surfaced.
  • Nordstrom Inc. is up 34 per cent, bucking a slump at most retailers with the success of its discount brand, Nordstrom Rack.
  • Brazil’s stock exchange has seen a steady climb of 35 per cent in U.S. dollar terms since May, despite the political turmoil in the nation. Bearish sentiment, however, is on the rise.

Not everyone has been so lucky.

  • Venezuela’s main index is down 23 per cent, priced in U.S. dollars, with almost all of the declines coming in June when Moody’s Investors Service said the country was likely to default on its debt this year. This comes as the nation continues to struggle with extreme inflation.
  • First Solar Inc. is down 23 per cent, as the declines that have plagued the company since March of this year continue. The firm has been making a strategic shift to selling solar panels rather than developing new power plants, causing analysts to worry about what revenue growth will look like in the future.
  • Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. started the summer fairly well, but the stock is now down 36 per cent, as oil prices remain lower and explorers are slashing offshore spending.
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