The market continues to flash signs that it wants to breakout, although mixed news has brought on a consolidation for the first two days of the week. Sabrient's SectorCast-ETF rankings show little change this week, and this unbiased, value-oriented, quantitative model continues to have a bullish flavor by favoring sectors that are more dependent on economic growth, like Financials, InfoTech and Energy, which remain comfortably above the more defensive sectors like Utilities, Consumer Staples, and Telecom.
However, Consumer Discretionary and Industrials remain relatively weak in the rankings, which tempers the optimism a bit. It appears that corporate spending is increasing in anticipation of consumer spending to improve down the road.
Latest rankings: This week, SectorCast-ETF's top four sectors remain the same as the last two weeks, but with Energy and Healthcare switching places. Financials (XLF) again tops the rankings with a 76 score, and is now followed by Energy (XLE) close behind at 73. In fact, the top four sectors are closely bunched within 5 points of one another.
After selling off more than the other sectors over the past week, XLE now has an even stronger projected price/earnings ratio, which has brought it back into the top two. These two sectors have the lowest projected P/E, and because they are so close (10.0 vs. 10.1), small price moves during the week can easily make them switch positions. XLF also boasts the top score in projected year-over-year change in earnings across the sector.
However, XLF still ranks last in trailing return on equity, while XLE ranks last in trailing return on sales.
Top-ranked stocks within these sectors include Unum Group (NYSE: UNM), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO), and Diamond Offshore Drilling (NYSE: DO).
At the bottom of the rankings, we again find the fundamentally most overvalued sectors are Telecommunications (IYZ) with a score of 23 and ConsumerDiscretionary (XLY) at 39. IYZ contains only U.S. telecoms, which are continuing to show an increase in analyst downgrades to earnings estimates. It still ranks lowest in both analyst revisions and projected year-over-year change in earnings. And for its part, XLY continues to display the worst (highest) aggregate projected P/E. The glimmer of hope in Consumer Discretionary is the fact that it ranks second in new analyst upward earnings revisions among its constituent stocks during the week.