Top Performing Stocks in May

These stocks have a long history of performing well in May, rising in the month at least 74% of the time and typically jumping by at least a few percent on average.
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Updated: Sep 26, 2022
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Seasonality is the study of how assets perform at certain times of the year. The stocks below have shown a strong tendency to rise in May, historically. That doesn’t mean they will rally this May, though. Seasonality is best used in conjunction with other forms of analysis and specific trading strategies. Learn about the seasonal stocks that tend to go up in May.

What are the top stocks that perform well in May?

Our analysts have selected the best stocks that usually perform well in May. You can find the list in the table below. Keep scrolling to understand why these stocks have made it to the top in our analysis.

#Stock symbolCompany nameTrade now
1SSprint Corporation
2BKBank of New York Mellon Corporation
3JCIJohnson Controls Inc.
4SLMSLM Corporation
5RRDRR Donnelley & Sons Company
6CAGConaAgra Foods Inc.
7CSCComputer Sciences Corporation
8DDSDillard’s Inc.
9VSHVishay Intertechnology Inc.
10UNHUnitedHealth Group Incorporated
11FLOFlowers Foods Inc.
12KOCoca-Cola Company
13MDTMedtronic Inc.
List selected by our team of analysts

78% Rally Rate

All stocks do at least 500K in average daily volume.

Sprint Corporation (S)

  • Price has rallied 21 out of 27 years, or 78%.
  • Average May gain, for all years, is 6.92%.
  • In the rising months (21) the average gain has been: 10.14%.
  • In declining months (6) the average loss is -4.34%.
  • Biggest gain is 20.71%, and biggest drop is -9.36%.

Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (BK)

  • Price has rallied 21 out of 27 years, or 78%.
  • Average May gain, for all years, is 4.43%.
  • In the rising months (21) the average gain has been: 7.87%.
  • In declining months (6) the average loss is -7.63%.
  • Biggest gain is 23.92%, and biggest drop is -13.91%.

Johnson Controls  Inc. (JCI)

  • Price has rallied 21 out of 27 years, or 78%.
  • Average May gain, for all years, is 4.4%.
  • In the rising months (21) the average gain has been: 7.04%.
  • In declining months (6) the average loss is -4.85%.
  • Biggest gain is 18.95%, and biggest drop is -7.61%.

SLM Corporation (SLM)

  • Price has rallied 21 out of 27 years, or 78%.
  • Average May gain, for all years, is 4.29%.
  • In the rising months (21) the average gain has been: 6.99%.
  • In declining months (6) the average loss is -5.17%.
  • Biggest gain is 36.63%, and biggest drop is -9.22%.

RR Donnelley & Sons Company (RRD)

  • Price has rallied 21 out of 27 years, or 78%.
  • Average May gain, for all years, is 4.14%.
  • In the rising months (21) the average gain has been: 7.76%.
  • In declining months (6) the average loss is -8.52%.
  • Biggest gain is 25.27%, and biggest drop is -14%.

ConaAgra Foods Inc. (CAG)

  • Price has rallied 21 out of 27 years, or 78%.
  • Average May gain, for all years, is 3.74%.
  • In the rising months (21) the average gain has been: 5.46%.
  • In declining months (6) the average loss is -2.29%.
  • Biggest gain is 22.15%, and biggest drop is -4.73%.

74% Rally Rate

Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC)

  • Price has rallied 20 out of 27 years, or 74%.
  • Average May gain, for all years, is 7.62%.
  • In the rising months (20) the average gain has been: 12.37%.
  • In declining months (7) the average loss is -5.98%.
  • Biggest gain is 48.51%, and biggest drop is -21.76%.

Dillard’s Inc. (DDS)

  • Price has rallied 20 out of 27 years, or 74%.
  • Average May gain, for all years, is 6.92%.
  • In the rising months (20) the average gain has been: 12.55%.
  • In declining months (7) the average loss is -9.15%.
  • Biggest gain is 27.89%, and biggest drop is -20.22%.

Vishay Intertechnology Inc. (VSH)

  • Price has rallied 20 out of 27 years, or 74%.
  • Average May gain, for all years, is 6.79%.
  • In the rising months (20) the average gain has been: 13.05%.
  • In declining months (7) the average loss is -11.12%.
  • Biggest gain is 28.23%, and biggest drop is -17.45%.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH)

  • Price has rallied 20 out of 27 years, or 74%.
  • Average May gain, for all years, is 5.76%.
  • In the rising months (20) the average gain has been: 9.98%.
  • In declining months (7) the average loss is -6.32%.
  • Biggest gain is 40.23%, and biggest drop is -12.19%.

Flowers Foods Inc. (FLO)

  • Price has rallied 20 out of 27 years, or 74%.
  • Average May gain, for all years, is 4.54%.
  • In the rising months (20) the average gain has been: 7.44%.
  • In declining months (7) the average loss is -3.74%.
  • Biggest gain is 18.37%, and biggest drop is -8.34%.

Coca-Cola Company (KO)

  • Price has rallied 20 out of 27 years, or 74%.
  • Average May gain, for all years, is 3.87%.
  • In the rising months (20) the average gain has been: 6.17%.
  • In declining months (7) the average loss is -2.73%.
  • Biggest gain is 18.37%, and biggest drop is -5.54%.

Medtronic Inc. (MDT)

  • Price has rallied 20 out of 27 years, or 74%.
  • Average May gain, for all years, is 3.29%.
  • In the rising months (20) the average gain has been: 5.79%.
  • In declining months (7) the average loss is -3.86%.
  • Biggest gain is 19.21%, and biggest drop is -10.32%.

What is the typical seasonal performance of stocks in May?

Most stocks tend to be pretty flat in May. Over the last 20 years the S&P 500 index has moved up in May 58% of the time (number above columns), but the average return for all those months is 0% (number at bottom of columns). Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com.

May stocks seasonality as per the SPX. 1998-2017 chart

Where to buy the best-performing stocks for May?

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Strong Seasonality Stock for May

The statistics below are based on the historic monthly opening and closing prices. Therefore, gains or losses within the month may be larger than those disclosed below. For example, a statistic may say the biggest rally on a monthly basis was 15%, but during the month the stock could have been up 20%, but dropped to only finish the month up 15% (intra-month losses could also be bigger). This is why it is recommend traders combine these statistics with other strategies, which help control risk and lock in profits.

Buying at the open and close of the month is also somewhat arbitrary. There are more precise times to take trades. Focus on seasonal opportunities that align with strategies you are already using.

This is the raw data. How you interpret it, and what you opt to do with it, is up to you.

Final Word on the Strong May Seasonality Stocks

This is the raw data. What you do with it is up to you. All traders are encouraged to do their own research and apply their own strategies if utilizing these statistics.

Each stock has a different risk profile. While the ‘average gain’ statistic is a key metric, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Making 7% may seem attractive but when looking at the volatility it may be more than you are willing to handle. Therefore, look at the all the data when deciding what to trade. Also, apply other technical and fundamental metrics to help zero-in on exact entry and exit points. Seasonality is not covered in my stock trading course, because it is a not a requirement for successful trading. That said, it is an additional tool you can use.

Losing trades WILL happen. Don’t risk more than 1% of your trading account on a trade (risk = difference between entry price and stop loss price, multiplied by the number of shares). There is always a risk in trading, and you can lose much more than you expect (even when you think you are only risking 1%).

Disclaimer: This article should not be viewed as investment advice, and is not a recommendation for you to buy or sell. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance.


Sources & references
Risk disclaimer

Invezz is a place where people can find reliable, unbiased information about finance, trading, and investing – but we do not offer financial advice and users should always carry out their own research. The assets covered on this website, including stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities can be highly volatile and new investors often lose money. Success in the financial markets is not guaranteed, and users should never invest more than they can afford to lose. You should consider your own personal circumstances and take the time to explore all your options before making any investment. Read our risk disclaimer >

Cory Mitchell
Market Analyst
Cory is a Chartered Market Technician (CMT) with more than 17 years of trading experience. He has written for multiple publications across the financial sector, and… read more.