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The charts below show sector relative strength versus the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) over the last 12 months. When the line is rising it indicates the sector is outperforming the S&P 500, and vice versa when it is falling. With the S&P 500 down marginally for the year, it may be surprising to some that seven sectors are actually outperforming the index since this time last year. The three sectors that are trailing the market include Financials, Industrials, and Materials.

Given its size, Financials have been the biggest albatross on the overall market's performance, but the drop in Industrials and Materials has also been painful for many investors. Both of these sectors became market darlings in the last several years on the global growth trade, but this year that strategy has fallen flat on its face. At the same time, Utilities have been one of the best performing sectors this year and that's before you account for dividends!

(Click charts to expand)

Source: Sector Relative Strength