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Investors look toward August

Simply getting through August unscathed would please most investors. But there have been ways to thrive during the cruel month for stocks.

There are 13 stocks in the Standard & Poor's 500, including car parts seller Advance Auto Parts (AAP), entertainment giant 21st Century Fox (FOXA) and utility FirstEnergy (FE), that have consistently beaten the August slows. Each of these stocks have topped the S&P 500 during each of the past five months of August, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Capital IQ.

Finding stocks that have actually performed well during the late summer isn't easy. The S&P 500 has dropped an average of 2.4% during the past five Augusts -- not exactly a ringing endorsement of the month. It's just not a great time for stocks. The market has dropped in four of the past five months of August, The exception was August 2014, when the market rose 3.8%.

Longer term, August isn't all that much better. August is just one of four months that have posted average losses dating to 1950, says The Stock Trader's Almanac.