In addition to the Nasdaq reaching a new all time high, the big news yesterday was the S&P 500 turned positive on the year; albeit not by much at only 5 bps. That is a far cry from where things stood just under 3 months ago. On the bear market low on March 23rd, the S&P 500 was down 30.75% YTD. Five sectors were down even more with Energy being the worst of these at a 60.34% loss. On the other hand, Consumer Discretionary, Health Care, Communication Services, Technology, and Consumer Staples were down less than 30% at the lows on 3/23.
Turning to today, while the broader index closed Monday in the green, less than half of the individual sectors are sitting on a gain YTD. Health Care, Communication Services, Consumer Discretionary, and Technology are all positive YTD. Of these, Tech is up the most at 11.05%. Consumer Discretionary also boasts a sizeable gain of 8.07%, while Health Care and Communication Services are both up less than 4%. While over half of the eleven sectors are still sitting on a loss YTD, for most it is not by much. Four of the seven that are in the red—Consumer Staples, Utilities, Materials, and Real Estate—are all within 5% of the flat-line. Meanwhile, Energy and Financials are still well below their levels at the start of the year, down 23% and 13.5% respectively.
While the YTD gain milestone has been reached (though not holding just yet), bulls still have more work to do to reach levels from the last all time high on 2/19. The S&P 500 closed yesterday within 5% of that 2/19 high and Communication Services, Materials, Tech, and Health Care are also within a few percentage points of those levels. Other more hard hit sectors like Energy, Utilities, and Financials are much further below; all double digits below their 2/19 levels. Conversely, as of yesterday’s close, only Consumer Discretionary has managed to move above its 2/19 levels. That’s largely due to Amazon’s (AMZN) massive move higher throughout the COVID crisis. Click here to view Bespoke’s premium membership options for our best research available.