June has a reputation for being the dullest of months for the stock market, but this year could be very different.
The S&P 500 basically goes nowhere in June, up 53 percent of the time and averaging a gain of 0.02 percent all the way back to 1945. "There isn't a swoon in June. It basically goes nowhere. It's the start of the summer doldrums," said CFRA's chief investment strategist, Sam Stovall.
But this summer is starting off with anything but doldrums when it comes to events that could shake up markets. President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12, and markets could take it really well if all goes satisfactorily, or badly if those talks do not come off as at least amicable even if there's not a lot of progress from a first meeting.
Secondly, Trump has embarked on trade skirmishes on many fronts, against the closest U.S. allies and biggest trading partners. Headlines about steel and aluminum tariffs on Europe, Canada and Mexico sent stocks reeling last week and with escalation and retaliation could again.
Trade could also become a positive for the market if there is a new NAFTA deal, or if there is progress with China, the biggest U.S. trading partner with the largest deficit. But if there is no NAFTA deal soon, and it looks like the potential for an agreement is limited or nonexistent, that would be a negative. Political turmoil in both Italy and Spain have also been a source of volatility and could be again.