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‘Sell in May,’ History Says: Pro

Statisticians found that the adage to "sell in May and go away" worked historically going all the way back to the 17th century, Mark Hulbert of MarketWatch said Tuesday.

"I know we all think of it as incredibly silly," he said. "Why does the market follow a seasonal pattern? But statisticians who have looked at it and, in fact, have looked at 108 different stock markets as far back as history exists for those markets, including, believe it or not, in England back to 1694.

"And they have found evidence of this pattern all the way back as far as the day they exist."

On CNBC's "Fast Money," Hulbert said that short-term trends were limited in their usefulness.

"Most of the patterns we talk about, whether it's on CNBC or in Wall Street in general, most of them turn out to be no better than a coin flip," he said. "And even those that start to look to be slightly better than a coin flip, and even those that look to be slightly better than a coin flip stop working the moment we actually start to follow it."

Hulbert said that there would always be unique periods throughout history, adding that from a long-term perspective the premise behind the rhyming advice, "Sell in May and go away," held.

Hulbert also said that the re-entry point for buying stocks was Oct. 31, which was known as the "Halloween indicator."

"No one really knows why it should work," he said. "The fact is that simply it has worked, and it has worked incredibly well."

Certain sectors, however, were relatively immune, he added: Consumer goods, financials, technology and telecommunications.

Trader disclosure: On April 30, 2013, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC's "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Joe Terranova is long MINI S&P FUTURES; Joe Terranova is long VRTS; Joe Terranova is long SJM; Joe Terranova is long IBM; Joe Terranova is long SPLK; Joe Terranova is long TBT; Joe Terranova is long SWN; Steve Weiss is long QCOM; Steve Weiss is long HIG; Mike Murphy is long AAPL; Mike Murphy is long BAC; Mike Murphy is long INTC; Mike Murphy is long TOL; Josh Brown is long JPM; Josh Brown is long XLU;

For Mike Rehaut
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