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This may be one of the worst times of year for U.S. stocks. Here’s why investors shouldn’t be worried

June 22, 2021, 7:04 PM UTC

Cryptocurrency investors are already feeling some serious pain with the plunge in Bitcoin this week, but now U.S. stocks are heading into one of the historically weakest times of the year.

According to LPL Financial’s Ryan Detrick, “The Fed and inflation get the headlines for why stocks are weak, but be aware one of the worst times of the year is late June,” he wrote on Twitter last week, pointing out in a chart that it’s one of the weaker periods of the year for the S&P 500 based on historical returns going back to 1950, per LPL’s data.

“Part of it is just the start of the vacation season, and when [trading] volumes dry up—that tends to lead to weaker stock market performance,” LPL’s Jeff Buchbinder told Fortune.

But importantly, Buchbinder added, “when you look at the June seasonal [trading numbers] historically for the whole month, it’s actually been a decent month recently.”

Indeed, per a recent LPL research report, the S&P 500 has actually been higher during the month of June the past five years in a row, up 1% on average in the past 10 years. “That’s not bad at all,” says Buchbinder. “June’s reputation as a bad month is not deserved,” he argued.

And though Buchbinder said it was hard to point to one reason why there’s weakness in late June, “right now, in this cycle, it’s really all about inflation and the Fed.”

Indeed, the S&P 500 was trading lower last week, down roughly 1.9% from last Tuesday through Friday as the Fed signaled two possible rate hikes by the end of 2023 on the back of spiking inflation. But stocks have gained ground this week, with the S&P 500 hovering near another all-time high after rising some 1.4% on Monday.

“Late June and into July, when you have seasonal weaknesses, it’s a logical time for the market to hit some of those speed bumps, but we think you’ll be able to attribute any bumpiness to inflation and the Fed for at least the next couple of months, and probably longer,” said Buchbinder.

Other strategists see things looking up from here.

Lauren Goodwin, economist and portfolio strategist at New York Life Investments, argued “the Fed’s adjusted path is hardly a recession-starter. Higher short-term rates in 2023 and fewer asset purchases in 2022 are unlikely to dramatically shift the ongoing rebound in economic growth,” she wrote in a Tuesday note. “Instead, this brief unwind will represent an opportunity to build positions in the reflation theme,” through stocks like higher-quality value and cyclical stocks.

LPL’s Buchbinder, meanwhile, says he’s still favoring value and cyclicals like industrials, materials, and financials against the backdrop of “strong momentum” in the economy and earnings growth.

And for now, stocks don’t seem too fussed. The S&P 500 is trading roughly 0.5% higher as of early Tuesday afternoon trading.

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