Entering today, 49.6% of stocks in the S&P 500 were above their 50-day moving averages.  Below is a chart highlighting this breadth reading over the last year.  As you can see, this indicator has put in a series of lower highs as the year has progressed, which indicates that a smaller and smaller number of stocks are participating in each rally.

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Even though breadth has been weakening throughout the year, it hasn’t gotten outright negative.  In fact, 40% or more of stocks in the index have closed above their 50-day moving averages for 208 consecutive trading days.  That’s a remarkable streak.  As you can see below, the last time we had a streak this long was back in the early 1990s.  The longest streak since 1990 is 217 trading days, so we’ll have a new record if the current streak goes on for a couple more weeks.

From a sector perspective, Utilities has the strongest breadth at the moment with 92.9% of stocks above their 50-DMAs.  Technology and Health Care rank 2nd and 3rd.

At the bottom of the list is Financials with just 15.2% of stocks above their 50-DMAs.  A week ago it was the Energy sector that was struggling, but now it’s the Financials that have begun to break down.

Below is a look at weakening breadth for the S&P 500 Financial sector:

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