The market's volatility has spilled into this week so far, with the major indices and most of the major sectors experiencing larger-than-normal price swings. The S&P 500 (SPY ) is still sitting near lows despite an impressive reversal day on Monday, which broke the technical low before rallying back into the positive. Investors continue to look for the catalyst that will bring back the bulls to this market in a meaningful way.
The Russell 2000 (IWM ) continues to show consistent weakness to the downside. On Monday this week, despite the strong reversal day seen in the other markets, the IWM was unable to recover into positive territory. Technical traders will note the series of lower lows and lower highs building on the index, suggesting that more weakness is to come.
On a positive note, Utilities (XLU ) continue to attract the sector bulls, pushing the XLU to new highs already this week. Many of the utility companies inside the sector ETF are also trading at or very near highs as investors continue to flock towards any performance they can get.
If you follow a new yearly high list, then you'll notice the abundance of Real Estate Investment Trusts (ICF ) pushing to new highs. The ICF along with other REIT ETFs are hovering just off 52-week highs, as investors feel confident in the Federal Reserve's future rate hike plans. For the year, the ICF is higher by almost 4%.
Banks (XLF ) continue to underperform this week and are hovering near lows. On Tuesday, the banking sector pushed back towards lows set on Monday as investors begin closing out their holdings in this sector, which has produced many a taxable loss prior to the end of the year.
Lastly, Retail (XRT ) is hovering near lows as well. The XRT broke to new lows on Monday and is sitting just below bear market territory as many fear that consumer spending will slow.