October Charts Show Defensive Sectors Ruled

ETF Trends

November is here and history shows that favoring cyclical, higher-beta sectors (think discretionary, industrials and materials) is a rewarding strategy at this time of year.

That could again be the case this year and there is evidence to suggest investors are already allocating cash to less defensive sector ETFs, such as industrial and technology funds. [Industrial, Tech ETFs See Strong October Inflows]

Technology is coming off a solid October in which it contributed 0.82% of the S&P 500’s monthly gain while industrials accounted for 0.55% as the chart below from S&P Capital IQ indicates. Click to enlarge.

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Even with those impressive numbers, defensive sectors were the place to be in October. The S&P 500 Telecom Index surged 8.53% while the S&P 500 Consumer Staples Index jumped 6.35%. Investors rode the staples wave, moving $1 billion in new assets into the Consumer Staples Select SPDR (XLP) , but similar enthusiasm was not there for telecom as the iShares U.S. Telecommunications ETF (IYZ) saw modest outflows.

Here’s a recap of how the 10 S&P 500 sectors performed last month, also courtesy of S&P Capital IQ.

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