If you'd put the sell in May and go away rhyme into practice, you would have exited the stock market this year at a time when the S&P 500 had risen 9.2%. Not a bad gain since the start of 2013.
However, should you prefer a more fine-tuned approach to the wholesale departure (if anyone in reality does that), you may choose to study the biggest individual winners and losers for their potential to reverse. Of course, in isolation, a stock's being down or up a lot is only one thing -- it's not much more thorough than the idea of simply shutting out the lights when the fifth month of the year arrives.
Nobody knows where we're going, only from where we've come, so shorting the strong and buying the weak doesn't guarantee you anything. But if you're inclined to start here, the bountiful and the woeful are as follows:
For this year, the stocks that have risen the most so far on the S&P are a little more diverse than the market's weak names. The top advancers have a bit of a consumer-services bias in a broad sense. Movie renter Netflix (NFLX) and electronics seller Best Buy (BBY) lead the way, and both of those had dark days before investors bet that their fortunes would improve. Tax preparer H&R Block (HRB) is there, as is cosmetics seller Avon (AVP), while the world of medical science gets three names in.
On the declining side, the list is heavy with companies that get stuff from the ground. With commodities struggling, mining and materials was a dangerous place to be for longs: Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF), U.S. Steel (X) and Newmont Mining (NEM) paced the droppers. Meanwhile, a trio of high-tech also punished their owners.