As noted in a previous post earlier this week, for the S&P 500 as a whole, there has been a historic lack of volatility over the last several weeks. While it may seem like stocks have done absolutely nothing during this period, there has actually been a good deal of rotation underneath the surface. We touched on this in a previous post, but another way to illustrate it is by looking at how sectors have traded during the period of extreme calm for the S&P 500.
Since the 13th of July, the S&P 500 has traded within a range of 2.22% from its intraday high of 2,193.81 on 8/15/16 and its intraday low of 2,146.21 on 7/13/16. While that range has been narrow, many sectors have seen moves in a magnitude of multiples of the S&P 500. The table and chart below shows the intraday high/low percentage spread of the S&P 500 and all ten sectors since 7/13. As shown, all ten sectors have seen wider ranges than the index as a whole. For seven of those sectors, the high/low range has been more than 5%, and three sectors have traded in ranges in excess of 8%. So if you have been sitting in Spyders (SPY) or an index fund since the middle of July, it was a quiet second half of the summer. However, if you were in a portfolio focused in sectors like Energy, Technology, or even Utilities, it has been anything but a ho-hum two months.