April certainly brought about some surprises, and it’s no stretch to say investing has become a bit more difficult in the last month, despite S&P having risen five of the last eight weeks.  Violent sector rotation has wreaked havoc with positioning, but stock indices remain generally in good shape from a structural perspective, despite some recent slowdown, technically speaking.  April’s last few days of gains helped prices successfully log a positive return of nearly 2%, the best month since January, though trends heading into mid-May show prices largely at the same levels as mid-April nearly a month ago.  Overall, this remains a market where participants have been slow to embrace the rally, given ongoing concerns about the Fed’s plans to cease monetary tightening along with recession fears, earnings issues and ongoing wrangling regarding the Debt ceiling impasse.

Four factors suggest that the months ahead could prove far more difficult than bulls might expect, despite prices having shirked off most concerns, defying gravity since mid-March.  First, seasonality is turning more negative from May into October.  While October 2022 - April 2023 brought about the sweet spot for pre-election year performance, which largely went according to pla...

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