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Sector Detector: Investors Get Their Overdue Pullback
By: Scott Martindale   Thursday, April 12, 2012 10:42 AM
Symbols: AA
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. As we head into earnings season, Technology (IYW) remains at the top of the Outlook rankings with an 80, but Financial (IYF) has pulled into a tie. 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. IYF continues to gain strong support among analysts, along with Consumer Services (IYC), and its projected P/E is still relatively low.

2. Energy (IYE) and Materials (IYM) continue to be beaten down by the analysts and reflect by far the lowest projected P/Es.

3. Telecom (IYZ) remains at the bottom of the rankings with a 2. IYZ is 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 low long-term growth projections and a relatively high projected P/E.

4. Looking at the Bull scores, Financial (IYF) has been the clear leader on strong market days, scoring 56. Utilities (IDU) is by far the weakest on strong days, scoring 37.

5. As for the Bear scores, IDU is the investor favorite "safe haven" on weak market days, scoring 67, followed by IYK at 64. Notably, IYF continues to strengthen on this metric. IYM shows the lowest Bear score of 40. This means that Basic Materials stocks tend to sell off the most when the market is pulling back.

6. Overall, IYF now shows by far the best combination of Outlook/Bull/Bear scores. Adding up the three scores gives a total of 190. IYW is close behind at 186. IYZ is by far the worst at 103. IYF also shows the best combination of Bull/Bear with a total score of 110. IYE and IYM share the worst combination with a 94.

These scores represent the view that the Technology and Financial sectors may be relatively undervalued overall, while Utilities and Telecom sectors may be relatively overvalued based on our 1-3 month forward look.

Top ranked stocks within Technology and Financial sectors include Apple (AAPL), TIBCO Software (TIBX), Discover Financial (DFS), and Regions Financial (RF).


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