After the market selloff last Friday, the percentage of stocks above their 50-day moving averages in the S&P 500 currently stands at 56%. As shown in the first chart below, market breadth, at least by this measure, has been very poor over the past few weeks. During prior rallies within this bull market, the reading got up to and stayed near 75%-85% for quite a while. On the most recent rally to new highs, however, not nearly as many stocks moved back above their 50-days.
Financials and Energy are the two sectors causing the drag. Both sectors currently have just 33% of stocks above their 50-days. Technology is the only other sector with less than 50% of stocks above their 50-days (46%). Telecom, Utilities, Health Care, and Consumer Staples currently have the highest percentages of stocks above their 50-day moving averages. Investors have definitely taken a defensive position in recent weeks.