In the charts below, we highlight the relative strength of each S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) sector versus the overall index over the last 12 months. When the line is rising, it indicates that the sector is outperforming the S&P 500 and vice versa when the line is falling.
In each chart, the blue dot represents the recent closing low for the S&P 500 on August 8th. This allows us to easily see which sectors have been leading and lagging the market during the recent short-term recovery phase. As shown, Healthcare has been the leading sector since 8/8 and is currently at new one year highs in terms of outperformance. One factor behind the Healthcare sector's recent outperformance is the 8/12 decision by the 11th Circuit Appeals Court in Atlanta, that ruled that the individual mandate of ObamaCare was unconstitutional. What made this ruling especially noteworthy was the fact that one of the judges ruling against the individual mandate was a Clinton appointee.
Other sectors outperforming the overall market since the 8/8 low include Consumer Discretionary, Materials and Utilities.
On the downside, Financials remain in the doghouse and are joined by Industrials, Technology, and Telecom Services.
(Click charts to expand)