The table above summarizes the average YTD S&P 500 stock return by sector. We also include the number of stocks that are up and down on a YTD basis as well as the three best and worst performing stocks in the sector so far this year. At the moment, only four sectors are in positive territory in 2011. The two best performing sectors have been Utilities and Consumer Staples, where more than 70% of the stocks in the sector are up. The only other sector where more than half the stocks in the sector are in the black for 2011 is Consumer Discretionary. Of the six sectors that are down so far this year, Telecom Services (only eight members), Financials, and Materials have been the worst performers and are all down more than 20% on the year. Financials have perhaps been the most disappointing sector for 2011 as only 17 of the 80 stocks (21.25%) in the sector are in positive territory for the year.
Looking at individual winners and losers so far this year, only one stock, Cabot Oil & Gas (GOG), is up more than 100%. COG is followed by another Energy sector stock, El Paso (EP), which is up 79.2% and then Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), which is up 68%. On the downside, this year's worst performing S&P 500 members include Monster Worldwide (MWW), First Solar (FSLR), and Alpha Natural (ANR).