Sector Relative Strength

 |  Includes: FXZ, IYJ, IYW, IYZ, XLE, XLF, XLP, XLU, XLV, XLY
by: Bespoke Investment Group

The charts below show the relative strength of all 10 sectors vs. the S&P 500. When the lines are rising it indicates that the sector is outperforming the S&P 500, while a falling line indicates underperformance. Additionally, the blue dots in each chart indicate the days of Fed meetings.

While the Fed has not explicitly changed its tune in the last several meetings, the last meeting on May 1 certainly looks like it was at least a short-term turning point for several sectors. As shown below, defensive orientated sectors like Consumer Staples, Telecom Services, and Utilities really saw their relative strength turn south following that meeting.

At the same time, more cyclical sectors like Financials and Industrials have really turned it around in a positive way. Whether this is the beginning of a longer-term trend will depend on incoming economic data, but it certainly shows that just because the Fed is not explicitly changing its stance investors are trying to read between the lines.

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