Since the S&P 500 peaked back in the Spring, two sectors that were among the hardest hit were Industrials and Materials. With heavy exposure outside of the United States, both of these sectors became especially vulnerable to the potential fallout of the debt crisis in Europe and the slowdown in emerging markets.
As shown in the relative strength charts below, both Industrials and Materials were two of the equity market's leading sectors in the first four months of 2011. Over the Summer, though, the bottom fell out for both sectors and they became two of the biggest market laggards. In the last month, however, the fortunes for both sectors have once again reversed as they have made up a lot of the lost ground from the Summer.