As the year comes to an end, the markets have experienced quite a slowdown. The S&P 500 is now down over 10% in just the last quarter, and many are starting to prepare for a recession. While fears of a US recession may be overblown, the markets are starting to warn of a considerable slowdown in corporate earnings, as well as overall growth.
In every market, there has to be a place to invest; this market is no different. While you may not be interested in trying to find the bottom of the banking sector or the tech stocks, the bulls have to invest somewhere - so where are they?
Looking through the sectors of the S&P 500, we can see that technology stocks are the worst performers, down almost 25%. Industrials are also down double-digits for the year, as are banks, materials, and consumer stocks. There's relative strength in the utility sector, however, as well as in the healthcare sector. Both still have positive gains on the year, adding 2% and 5% respectively. But how do we know that's where the bulls currently are?
While the S&P 500 is down 10% for the quarter, the Utility stocks have managed to gain 4%. 2% of that has come in just the last month. That is a clear sign that the bulls have been selling off the weak areas and adding that money - or at least some of it - to the Utility stocks.
Healthcare is a little different, as most of its gains happened in the first half of the year. While lately the healthcare stocks have fallen about -6.5% for the quarter, many bulls will be looking at this pullback as a discount and not a reason to run for the hills.