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Sector Detector: Investors Hoping For A Bigger Pullback
By: Scott Martindale   Thursday, April 5, 2012 10:37 AM
Symbols: AAPL, BBT
Unless the bottom falls out on high volume (likely due to an major external event), taking out important support levels, "buy the dip" will remain the working mantra.

After all, the world depends on it. Despite what you hear about the rapid emergence of China, the U.S. remains the engine of global economic growth, especially given the struggles in Europe and Asian. The FOMC and the ECB both recognize this, which will keep them pumping the liquidity spigot and making riskier assets relatively attractive.

Latest rankings: The table ranks each of the ten U.S. industrial sector iShares (ETFs) by Sabrient's proprietary Outlook Score, which employs a forward-looking, fundamentals-based, quantitative algorithm to create a bottom-up composite profile of the constituent stocks within the ETF. In addition, the table also shows Sabrient's proprietary Bull Score and Bear Score for each ETF.

High Bull score indicates that stocks within the ETF have tended recently toward relative outperformance during particularly strong market periods, while a high Bear score indicates that stocks within the ETF have tended to hold up relatively well during particularly weak market periods. Bull and Bear are backward-looking indicators of recent sentiment trend.

As a group, these three scores can be quite helpful for positioning a portfolio for a given set of anticipated market conditions.

Observations:

1. There is not a lot of change in the rankings as we head into earnings season next week. Technology (IYW) remains at the top of the Outlook rankings with an 83. IYW is particularly strong in its return ratios as margins remain high in tech products, but it is strong pretty much across the board on all relevant factors. Only its projected P/E is mediocre, as prices continue to soar within the sector.

2. Financial (IYF) widened its lead over Healthcare (IYH) for second place with a score of 78. IYW and IYF are now well above the pack. They also are getting the most support from Wall Street analysts, along with Industrial (IYJ).

3. Energy (IYE) and Materials (IYM) continue to be beaten down and now reflect the lowest projected P/Es. IYM in particular continues to get hit with net earnings downgrades from Wall Street.

4. Telecom (IYZ) remains at the bottom of the rankings with a 4. IYZ remains saddled with the worst return ratios and the highest projected P/E. It is again joined in the bottom two by Utilities (IDU) with a score of 21. IDU has poor long-term growth projections and relatively high projected P/E.

5. Looking at the Bull scores, Financial (IYF) has been the clear leader on strong market days, scoring 56. With its consistent recent performance, Technology (IYW) has risen to 50. Utilities (IDU) is by far the weakest on strong days, scoring 34.

6. As for the Bear scores, IDU is the investor favorite "safe haven" on weak market days, scoring 59, followed by IYK at 57. IYM shows by far the lowest Bear score of 33. This means that Basic Materials stocks tend to sell off the most when the market is pulling back.

7. Overall, IYW still shows by far the best combination of Outlook/Bull/Bear scores. Adding up the three scores gives a total of 185. But IYF is close behind at 183. IYZ is by far the worst at 96.


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