Sunday, June 22, 2008

Year to Date Returns By Sector

How you've been faring this year so far in the stock market is very much a function of the sectors you've been invested in. While the S&P 500 Index (SPY) has been down about 10% thus far in 2008, the commodities-related materials (XLB) and energy (XLE) sectors are up on the year. Financial stocks (XLF), on the other hand, have more than doubled the losses in the overall index and health care (XLV), facing calls for reform from both parties in a presidential election year, is also trailing the pack. Meanwhile, consumer staples shares (XLP) have shown a more modest decline than more growth-oriented sectors, reflecting investors' overall defensive stance in a slowing economy.