While the S&P 500 is up 15.04% year to date, the Utilities sector is actually down on the year (-0.88%). Utilities had periods of strong outperformance this year, but its big drop following the election on concerns over dividend tax hikes really hit the sector hard.
With just eight trading days left in 2012, below is a look at the year-to-date performance of the 10 S&P 500 sectors. As shown, three sectors are outperforming the S&P 500 as a whole, while seven are underperforming. The Financial sector, which has the second largest weighting in the index behind Technology, is up the most in 2012 with a big gain of 26.90%. Consumer Discretionary ranks second with a gain of 22.91%, while Health Care ranks third at +18.06%.