Sector Rotation Money Flow off the June 11 High

Jun 27, 2009: 5:13 PM CST

Often, to get a closer look at the market money flows, it’s helpful to look at relative and absolute sector performance from key swing highs or lows.  Let’s take a look at the Sector Returns off the June 11th high to present (June 27).

I’ve subdivided the chart (from StockCharts.com) into “Offensive” or aggressive sectors which do well when the market is rising, and “Defensive” or protective sectors which do well (or at least outperform on a relative basis) when the broader market is falling.

We see that from the peak, HealthCare is the only sector to be positive (up 3.25%) which is benefiting in part by being a ‘defensive’ sector during a market downturn and via possible changes to the Health Care/Insurance industry via Congress.

The other two ‘relative strength’ performers were Consumer Staples and Utilities – though both slightly lost a percent.  The broader S&P 500 fell almost 3% during this time period.

Technology also lost 1.5%.  The other sectors – particularly in the ‘offensive group’ suffered with Materials falling the most.

Energy – thanks to a drop in crude oil prices and other supply/demand factors, was the sector that declined the most during this period, falling 11%.

What the sector money flow model is telling us is that funds may be positioning for a defensive swing down in the market as they could be expecting volatility ahead.  Either way, this is clearly not the picture of internal strength bulls would like to see to keep this market rallying.

Caution (on the buy side) is perhaps the best strategy going forward.

Corey Rosenbloom, CMT
Afraid to Trade.com

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