While it certainly feels like a correction in certain sectors of the market, overall the S&P 500 is only down 70 basis points since its closing high on 2/20. However, we have had four straight days of declines (going into today), which, given how strong the market has been, makes the bullish posture a little more timid.
Over the last four trading days, the best performing sector has been utilities, followed by energy and materials. The worst performing sectors have been financials, consumer discretionary, and Industrials, which were also three sectors that had done well YTD. Interestingly, the reason for the declines cannot simply be attributed to profit taking though,as the materials sector has continued to hold up and even advance even though it was one of the better performing sectors this year prior to 2/20.
On a stock basis, the picture is similar, energy and utilities make up most of the winners, while financials and consumer discretionary stocks make up all but four of the biggest losers.