You've probably heard of the "January Effect," the phenomenon that seemingly causes stocks, particularly small caps, to surge in the first month of the year. In theory, investors and institutions sell securities in December for tax-harvesting reasons, then buy them back the following month, causing them to jump in price.

But what about other months? Well, retailers have some seasons that perform better than others, simply because of the nature of the business. Some stocks even do better in June.

Whatever the reason, investing based solely on the calendar is certainly not a Foolish strategy. We can turn up nearly any causal relationship we want if we mine the data hard enough. Still, wouldn't it be great to know ahead of time which stocks performed best at what times?

On Motley Fool CAPS, more than 105,000 investors have weighed in on more than 5,700 stocks, awarding five-star ratings to the companies that most command their confidence. We've paired their opinions with data going as far back as five years to see which stocks perform best in each month. The following five companies seem to do best in June:


Market Cap

Avg. % Return, June

Avg. % Return, Rest of Year

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Return (YTD)

Insteel Industries (NASDAQ:IIIN)

$289 million





Bovie Medical (AMEX:BVX)

$110 million





Macatawa Bank (NASDAQ:MCBC)

$142 million





Advanced Medical Optics (NYSE:EYE)

$1.3 billion





Kimball International (NASDAQ:KBALB)

$360 million





Sources: America Online, Motley Fool CAPS. YTD = year to date.

If June really is their month to shine, let's see which of the companies above might live up to that promise.

What's driven the better June performance of office furniture manufacturer-cum-electronics components maker Kimball International, even as much of the rest of its year tends to be a bit flat? Do contract manufacturing and case goods sales rise with the thermometer? That's probably too spurious a connection, and is one reason why we don't recommend using this as simply a list of stocks to buy or sell -- just a platform for further research. We would need to look closer for the reason, but the company's three-star CAPS rating suggests that investors are still willing to pull up a chair to the circuit board.

Men of steel
Construction trades have had a rough go of it since the housing market meltdown, even though the commercial markets have held their own despite signs of weakness. Shares of Insteel Industries have sold off because of such weakness, but with only minimal exposure to residential housing, it would seem to have been more of a concern than it should be. It's not the first time Insteel has been hammered for doing things right.

 Its second-quarter earnings report had management noting that it was experiencing "relatively strong demand for products primarily used in nonresidential construction and weak demand from customers with greater exposure to the housing market."

Investors like CAPS player Entrepreneur58 think that a federal infrastructure package ought to send Insteel rebounding. Here is this player's pitch from February:

This company makes reinforcing products for precast concrete which is used in bridge and road construction. Our friends in Washington want to increase road building and bridge repairs to stimulate the economy and no doubt they have plenty of money available to do so. I would suggest those who sold this stock because it has a slight exposure to home building have overreacted and IIIN will bounce back in a big way.

Rival Nucor (NYSE:NUE) is certainly preparing for any increase, as it just agreed to buy reinforcing steel product maker Ambassador Steel for $185 million. Also consider Gerdau Ameristeel's (NYSE:GNA) timely acquisitions, like last year's $4.2 billion buy of Chaparral, and perhaps Insteel becomes an attractive target, too.

A calming effect
Still, we haven't yet heard from you, and at Motley Fool CAPS, every investor's opinion counts. Your voice affects these stocks, whatever month the calendar may display. Since it's free to sign up and express your investing opinions, why not use this opportunity to take your star turn?