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Sector, Style Groups Leave No Ambiguity - Clear Leaders Emerging

For the second week in a row we saw materials and industrial stocks lead the way, with transportation stocks (thanks to stellar results from a few railroad and trucking names) not far behind. At the bottom of the pile was healthcare - again - with gold just one notch above the bottom rung.

While a rally out of the summer doldrums still isn’t a foregone conclusion, the sector-leadership trends we’re seeing develop now are apt to be early omens of what’s in store if the bulls can just keep getting traction.

Sector Rank

For those of you who are a little more visual, the percentage-change comparison chart may better depict how these sector trends are shaping up since the peak on April 23rd.

Sector Comparison

Style Performance

There’s little confusion about where the strength was last week - small caps dominated, mid caps were in the middle, and large caps lagged…. though a 3.5% ‘lag’ is nothing to be ashamed of. While market cap seemed to be more of a matter than style last week, growth is still proving to be more fruitful than value in the recent bigger picture.

Style Rank

And as we did with the sectors, here’s the visual comparison of returns for the major market cap/style groups, since the April 23rd top. It’s here we can see how well growth stocks are coming out of the April/May funk.

Style Comparison

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More Stories By James Brumley

James Brumley is a freelance writer and registered investment advisor. He began his career as a broker with a major Wall Street firm, where fundamentals and long-term holding periods were core strategies. After that, he switched gears completely, becoming an analyst at a short-term trading newsletter that focused on technical analysis. He now manages client money using the best of both philosophies. His company, Bluegrass Portfolio Management, offers investors an opportunity to reap superior returns with minimized risk.