(By Rich Bieglmeier) Stocks are twirling around in circles like one of those pinwheels kids plant in the front yard. When bear wind hits the tape, the wheel spins in place and stocks take a little off the top. As bulls take control, stocks inch a little higher, all the while revolving slightly into positive and negative territory.
It is times like these when being in the right sector, and avoiding the wrong ones can make the difference between running in place and continuing to move forward. That's why iStock does its weekly sector chart review. We want to know which sectors have the chance to be hot, and not so hot.
Once again, we find that large-cap growth stocks are highly preferred to their value counterparts. Unlike last week, when both showed some degree of outperformance relative the S&P 500, value has moved south of the border and growth is accelerating away from the benchmark index.
Investors could consider buying an ETF such as iShares S&P 500 Growth Index (IVW) and shorting an equal dollar amount of a value exchange-traded-fund like iShares S&P 500 Value Index (IVE). Minus fees, commissions, margin interest, and whatever other fees your broker charges, as long as growth continues to outperform value, no matter which directions stocks take, this trade will turn a profit.
If this style of pair trading is uncomfortable and you prefer individual stocks, consider adding something from our emerging and mature bull sectors. Technology looks particularly strong; meanwhile, gold-miners are in outperformance infancy and could still go either way. However, iStock believes the group offers at least two parts upside for every part of downside. A little later on, we will be up with a story on one of our favorite stocks from the bullish sectors.
Finally, we would absolutely look for alternatives to utility stocks right now. From gas to water to electricity, the sector charts are weak and getting weaker.
Here is this week's complete list of bullish and bearish sectors.
EMERGING BULL: Industries with positive technical analysis traits that are in the early stages, indicating possible above average returns in the near-term:
MATURE BULL: Industries that have outperformed and their charts suggest the above average returns could continue:
Construction & Materials
MATURE BEAR: Industries that have underperformed and, based on their current chart patterns, could continue to lag:
EMERGING BEAR: Industries that have fresh negative technical analysis set ups and could have subpar performance in the weeks ahead: Electricity
Gas & Water Utilities