Stocks wilted in May. The S&P 500 plunged 6.4%, including dividends, which is a huge monthly drop that equates to an annualized loss of nearly 77%.
Last month was the market's first down month in 2019, and the worst May for stocks since 2010.
High-flying stocks were generally the hardest hit, particularly those in the cannabis space. Amid the carnage in the sector, however, there was a little-known gainer: EnWave (TSXV: ENW) (NASDAQOTH: NWVCF). Along with making all-natural dried cheese snacks, the Canada-based company licenses, manufactures, and installs equipment for dehydrating organic materials, including marijuana and hemp.
The main catalyst for May's market sell-off was escalating global trade tensions. Along with moving closer to a trade war with China, the U.S. could now be heading down that same path with Mexico. On May 31, President Trump threatened to impose a 5% tariff on Mexican imports until our neighbor to the south stems the flow of immigrants crossing its border to the United States. This news naturally rattled the financial markets, as Mexico is our biggest trading partner. So what was already a poor month for the market ended on a down note, with the S&P 500 falling 1.3%.
Even in declining markets, however, there will always be winners.