A more defensive rally in November: Is the market losing momentum?

12/03/2009 12:05 pm EST

Focus: STOCKS

Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

Stocks continue to move up but investors are getting more defensive.

You can see it in a list of what sectors led the stock market in November and which lagged.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index was up 6.4% in November.

Sectors that trailed the S&P for the month include energy and finance. Those sectors led the market rally off the March bottom until the fall.

Sectors that outgained the S&P 500 include materials, industrials, healthcare and utilities. Those last two are the classic refuge for money that’s starting to get nervous about stocks—but isn’t nervous enough to move out of stocks completely.

The move to defensive sectors and the slightly outperformance for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, home to big company stocks with, in many cases, hefty dividends, are signs that this rally is getting tired and, absent a shot of concrete good news, is in danger of losing momentum.

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