The Utilities sector was the best performing of the ten major sectors in the first quarter. The sector gained 8.44%, followed closely by Materials at 8.38%. Consumer Discretionary, Technology and Financials were the three sectors that were down for the quarter, with Financials falling the most at -3.44%.
We looked at sector performance going back to 1990 to see how sectors have performed for the last three quarters of the year based on their first quarter performance. For each year, we ranked each sector versus other sectors based off their first quarter performance and then took the average performance for the rest of the year for each rank. As shown in the table below, the sectors that ranked first in performance in the first quarter have averaged a gain of 9.28% for the last three quarters of the year. The second, third and fourth best performing sectors in the first quarter have averaged the most gains for the rest of the year.
The table shows that the sectors that perform the best in the first quarter typically perform the best for the remainder of the year as well, while those that perform the worst continue to underperform.