The materials sector (XLB ETF) was up 2.7 percent today. So far, it is one of the outperforming sectors in 2017.
Forbes correctly identified 2 key outperformers in the materials sector notably copper miner Freeport-McMoran (FCX) and agriculture stock Mosaic Co (MOS). FCX and MOS make up approximately 5.6% of the underlying holdings of XLB.
Some analysts believe that this part of the “Trump effect.” CNBC wrote recently that “Oppenheimer told investors Donald Trump’s policies will benefit the financial outlooks of industrials and materials companies and boost the sectors’ share prices in 2017.”
Regardless of what analysts say, the market has chosen a clear direction. The materials sector chart shows how the sector has risen to all-time highs this week. Although the weekly chart below only shows the last 5 years, the longer term chart has a similar conclusion as the 2008-highs were significantly lower than today’s level.
The more interesting insight comes from the relative strength chart, according to InvestingHaven’s research team. As shown below, relative strength in the materials sector peaked in 2011, at a time when most commodities were peaking. Since then, the materials sector has underperformed the S&P 500. That could be changing right now as the relative strength chart shows a breakout attempt from the falling trend (red circle on the chart).
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