Health Care has been the best performing sector following mid-February’s market peak. Its robust relative performance during this bear market isn’t terribly surprising given the sector’s defensive qualities, but it has impressively outpaced other safe haven areas.
Recently, Health Care stocks have been making headlines as the sector rallies to new all-time highs. However, when we look at the sector via Leuthold’s proprietarily-built industry group composition—which has a more realistic market-cap weighting approach—the Health Care sector has been outperforming since the end of 2017, and YTD it is the #1 performing sector in our work.
|Best Performing Industry Groups|
|Industry Group||1 Wk
|Trading Companies & Distributors||1.7%||0.7%||30.1%|
|Casinos & Gaming||1.7%||3.8%||65.3%|
|Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing||1.6%|
But Information Technology rises to the top of the Domestic model, while the trend of Financials domination in the Global model remains intact.
Our Domestic Scores have five Financials groups rating Attractive; these same five industry groups are Attractive in our Global model. In total, seven Financials groups rank Attractive in the Global model, with insurance groups looking particularly Attractive.
Market valuations and investor sentiment are a bit too inflated for our comfort, but the catalyst of the MTI’s drop to Neutral status two weeks ago was simply the action of the stock market itself. Specifically, we haven’t liked the disjointed nature of U.S. market action since about mid-March, where high-yielding and economically-defensive stocks have done the heavy lifting in the Dow and S&P 500 moves to all-time highs. This isn’t so much a change in leadership as an acceleration of an existing trend, and it’s now pronounced enough to weigh down a few of our technical measures.
We’ve published a series of research notes detailing our thoughts on the Health Care sector in Emerging Asia and formed a thematic group “Asia Healthy Tigers.” Even though most of the investable companies in Emerging Market Health Care are located in Asia, we decided to expand to other regions as well.