Best Sector Bets for the New Year

Focus: ETFs

As we head into the end of the year, Moneyshow’s Tom Aspray reviews the year’s top performing sectors and looks at the current technical readings to spot the best sectors for new investing.

Last week’s action in the Dow Industrials and S&P 500 was positive but as I noted in Friday’s Week Ahead market review even higher prices and very strong readings from the market internals are needed to signal upward acceleration.

The importance of sector selection was emphasized last week because while the Spyder Trust (SPY) gained just 0.2%, the Select Sector SPDR Financial (XLF) was up an impressive 1.7%. On the downside the Select Sector SPDR Materials (XLB) dropped 1.8% for the week.

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So far in 2012, two of the sectors are up over 20% with the Select Sector SPDR Financial (XLF) gaining 23.2% and was closely followed by the Select Sector SPDR Consumer Discretionary (XLY), which is up 21.5%. Both have sharply outpaced the 12.8% gain in the Spyder Trust (SPY).

The 4th quarter drop of 6.7% has cut into the performance of the Select Sector SPDR Technology (XLK) as it is now up just 13% for the year.