Below we highlight the performance of the ten S&P 500 sectors so far in 2011. The S&P 500 itself is down 8.12% year to date, but there is a 32 percentage point gap between the worst performing sector (Financials at -25.93%) and the best (Utilities at +6.36%). There are most definitely some big differences in portfolio performance for investors so far this year depending on sector allocations.
For those interested, below are the 40 best performing stocks in the Russell 3,000 year to date. Earlier in the year, there were a lot more stocks up more than 100%, but now there are just ten. VRUS leads the way among all stocks with a 2011 gain of 271%. AMPE is the only other stock that's up more than 200% YTD.