Forget sell in May, we’re still buying, investment experts say

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Despite the old adage “sell in May and go away,” two experts told CNBC on Monday they were doing the opposite.

“I’m not sure that some of these old Trader’s Almanac trading strategies, that were developed literally decades ago, whether they really translate into our economy and the markets today,” David Nelson, chief strategist at Belpointe Asset Management, said in an interview with “Closing Bell.”

“I’m still looking at stocks and if I see something I want to buy, I’m going to buy it.”

Nelson said he looks for companies that had great earnings reports but were still “slapped down” by the market. He specifically likes KLA-TenCor and Invesco.

Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott, is also a buyer right now.

“The thing that would worry me at this point is if I thought we were entering a recession,” he told “Closing Bell.”

“That’s a very remote possibility, in our view, out over the next 12, possibly 18 months.”

One area he likes is financials, particularly after the bank index sold off about 10 percent over the last six weeks or so, said Luschini, who noted he is more long-term oriented.

Specifically, he’d look at asset managers and custodian banks. With the Federal Reserve expected to raise interest rates a couple more times this year, this segment is much more levered to short-term interest rates than larger and universal banks, he explained.

One name he likes is PNC.

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However, Peter Andersen, chief investment officer at Fiduciary Trust, said there is about a 3 or 4 percent premium built into the market right now thanks to the “incredible amount of hope” about earnings and President Donald Trump’s proposals for tax reform, health care and infrastructure spending.

“If they don’t come through, think we could see a sell-off of anywhere from 4 to 7 percent,” he told “Closing Bell.”

History can also be a guide.

According to Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA, since World War II, the market has been up 80 percent of the time from Election Day until the end of April for first-term Republican presidents. However, from May through October, the market was down 80 percent of the time for those first-term Republicans, he pointed out.

“No guarantee that’s going to repeat this time around but … it’s the hype that could turn to gripe if we don’t get the things that are expected,” he said in an interview with “Closing Bell.”

U.S. equities closed mostly higher in choppy trade Monday, shaking off comments from Trump about breaking up the big banks.

— CNBC’s Fred Imbert contributed to this report.

Disclosures: Nelson personally owns KLAC, IVZ. Luschini, his family and his clients own PNC.