Below we update our year-to-date heatmap for sector returns in 2015. The color coding is entirely relative; for instance, if sectors are all negative, the least negative returner will be dark green. So far there have been two real outperformance sector longs for the year: Health Care and Consumer Discretionary.  Utilities, hit hard by interest rates climbing off their Q1 lows, have been the clear loser for most of the year.  Meanwhile, Energy has been an extremely inconsistent performer, at one point in April ranking near the top but now sitting at the worst return levels YTD of any sector.  We would note the shift since mid-July of Materials into further underperformance (in-line with Energy) while Consumer Staples have perked up.  The defensive yields and steadier growth of Staples stocks have helped boost their returns. The last note we would make: Technology is having a terrible year this year….relative to its historical performance.  Tech has been a huge driver of market returns for a long period of time, growing its share of market cap and impact on the overall S&P 500 index.  Therefore, middling performance for the sector has had a much larger impact than it might have a few years ago. So far Tech is hardly collapsing but it’s sideways move versus the broader market is interesting to see.

080615 Returns Heatmap

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