Market Insider

Stocks enter May with low expectations

Wall Street seeks fresh start after weak April end

Stocks are stumbling out of the gate this May, a month that does not usually bring big gains.

The S&P 500 lost 1 percent Thursday to 2,085, giving it a 0.9 percent gain for the month of April. The Dow lost 195 points, ending at 17,840, and while it finished April with a 0.4 percent gain, it is now about flat for the year so far.

Stocks typically score gains about half the time in the month of May. The S&P 500 over the past 20 years has been up a slim 0.18 percent on average, according to analytics tool Kensho. That compares to positive returns 75 percent of the time in April, with average gains of over 2 percent.