There’s an old saying on the Street that stocks take the stairs up and the elevator down.  In other words, gains typically occur over a period of weeks or months, but can be erased in days or even hours.  The recent performance of the Utilities is a prime example.  For months, investors have been amazed at how even in an up market one of the best performing sectors had been the Utilities sector.

Take a look at the chart below, which is from our weekly Sector Snapshots report, though.  In the span of two weeks, the sector’s fortunes have turned on a dime, and as of this afternoon, the sector has nearly given up all of its outperformance versus the S&P 500.  The fact that the peak of the sector’s relative strength coincided with the trough in Treasury yields just illustrates how sensitive to interest rates the sector is.

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