Sector Buy/Sell Review: 01-28-20

By Lance Roberts | January 28, 2020

Each week we produce a chart book of the S&P 500 sectors to review where money is flowing within the market as whole. This helps refine not only decision making about what to own and when, but what sectors to overweight or underweight to achieve better performance.


There are three primary components to each chart:

  • The price chart is in orange
  • The Over Bought/Over Sold indicator is in gray
  • The Buy / Sell indicator is in blue.

When the gray indicator is at the TOP of the chart, there is typically more risk and less reward available at the current time. In other words, the best time to BUY is when the short-term condition is over-sold. Likewise when the buy/sell indicator is above the ZERO line investments have a tendency of working better than when below the zero line.

, Sector Buy/Sell Review: 01-28-20

With this basic tutorial let’s get to the sector analysis.

The correction we have been discussing over the last several weeks has finally come to fruition. We are now looking for entry points to add to or build exposure in portfolios as needed.

Basic Materials

, Sector Buy/Sell Review: 01-28-20
  • XLB tested and failed at all-time highs. Furthermore, the break below the breakout support level has completed a “head and shoulders” formation which suggest lower levels are coming.
  • The sector has gotten back to short-term oversold, and the buy signal is still intact, so it will be critical this correction holds the 200-dma.
  • We currently hold 1/2 a position and have been looking to add the second 1/2 during a corrective process. We are watching support levels closely.
  • Short-Term Positioning: Neutral
    • Last Week: Hold current positions with a tighter stop-loss.
    • This Week: Hold current positions with a tighter stop-loss.
    • Stop-loss moved back to $57 to allow for entry.
  • Long-Term Positioning: Neutral


, Sector Buy/Sell Review: 01-28-20
  • As noted previously, XLC was more than 3-standard deviations above the 200-dma. This is rare, and the last time we saw this was at the peak of the market in January and June of 2018 both of which preceded significant corrections.
  • Because of the extension we did reduce our allocation to the sector modestly. We are now watching the correction to see if a successful test of the previous breakout level, which should coincide with the 200-dma, is successful. We will look to use that pullback to support to reweight the sector.
  • With a “buy signal” in place, but extended, there is more correction likely. This is particularly the case since XLC has not reversed its extreme overbought condition as of yet. XLC must hold support at $50.
  • XLC is currently 2/3rds weight in our portfolios.
  • Short-Term Positioning: Bullish
    • Last Week: Reduced weighting in portfolio.
    • This Week: Hold positions.
    • Stop adjusted to $50
  • Long-Term Positioning: Neutral


, Sector Buy/Sell Review: 01-28-20
  • Energy has failed at all levels.
  • We have been trying to add XLE to our portfolios but XLE broke back below the 200-dma, the downtrend line, and now the last level of support before our stop level.
  • The buy signal is extended and is still correcting, but Energy is oversold short-term so a bounce is very likely. Use that bounce to sell into for now.
  • We had noted previously, we were remaining cautious as rallies had repeatedly failed in the past. And, as expected, it happened again.
  • Short-Term Positioning: Bearish
    • Last week: Hold positions
    • This week: Sell into rally.
    • No position currently
  • Long-Term Positioning: Bearish


, Sector Buy/Sell Review: 01-28-20
  • As noted previously, XLF was extremely extended above the 200-dma which put the sector at risk of a more severe correction.
  • The buy signal is correcting but reamins extremely extended along with the sector remaining very overbought.
  • XLF is currently testing the bullish trend line but a failure here will test support at the breakout of the previous highs.
  • As noted last time, a correction is more likely than the 200-dma catching up to price, and that correction is now underway. Take profits and rebalance risk accordingly.
  • Short-Term Positioning: Bullish
    • Last week: Hold Positions
    • This week: Take profits and rebalance risk.
    • Stop-loss adjusted to $28
  • Long-Term Positioning: Neutral


, Sector Buy/Sell Review: 01-28-20
  • XLI had pushed well above the 200-dma and a correction was inevitiable.
  • While XLI remains exceedingly overbought short-term, the “buy signal” remains very extended as well. No rush chasing the sector currently.
  • We have been looking for a pullback to work off some of the extreme overbought condition before increasing our weighting. We will continue to patient for now.
  • We have adjusted our stop-loss for the remaining position.
  • Short-Term Positioning: Neutral
    • Last week: Hold 1/2 position
    • This week: Hold 1/2 position.
    • Stop-loss adjusted to $77
  • Long-Term Positioning: Neutral


, Sector Buy/Sell Review: 01-28-20
  • XLK has only had a very SLIGHT correction at this point and remains extremely overbought on both a price and momentum basis.
  • We reduced our position in XLK from overweight to target portfolio weight due to the extreme extension and noted a correction is coming.
  • The bullish trend line is the first level of support XLK needs to hold while reversing the overbought condition. A failure at that support is going to bring the 200-dma into focus. $AAPL and $MSFT will likely determine the fate of XLK during this earnings season.
  • Be careful chasing the sector currently. Take profits and rebalance risks accordingly.
  • Short-Term Positioning: Bullish
    • Last week: Reduce Overweight to Target Weight
    • This week: Hold positions.
    • Stop-loss adjusted to $80
    • Long-Term Positioning: Neutral


, Sector Buy/Sell Review: 01-28-20
  • As we noted last week, defensive sectors have started to perform better suggesting a risk-off trade might be coming.
  • XLP continues to hold its very strong uptrend as has now broken out to new highs and remains close to that level.
  • XLP is back to more extreme overbought and extended above the 200-dma, however, the “buy signal” has been registered. Look for pullbacks to support to add weight to portfolios. Maintain a stop at the 200-dma.
  • We previously took profits in XLP and reduced our weighting from overweight.
  • Short-Term Positioning: Bullish
    • Last week: Hold positions, take profits if needed.
    • This week: Hold positions, take profits if needed.
    • Stop-loss adjusted to $59
    • Long-Term Positioning: Bullish

Real Estate

, Sector Buy/Sell Review: 01-28-20
  • Last week we noted that XLRE had broken out back to new highs.
  • With XLRE now very extended short-term look for a short-term reversal in interest rates to create an entry point about the 200-dma which coincides with the running bullish trend line.
  • The very deep “sell signal” is being reversed also which could give XLRE an ability to rally further. However, a correction is likely first which will provide a better entry point.
  • We had previously noted that while we are holding our long-position, trading positions could be added to portfolios. Hold off adding any new positions currently and wait for small correction.
  • Short-Term Positioning: Bullish
    • Last week: Hold position.
    • This week: Hold position.
    • Stop-loss adjusted to $35.00 for profits.
  • Long-Term Positioning: Bullish


, Sector Buy/Sell Review: 01-28-20
  • XLU continues to maintain its bullish trend and recently rallied to break out to new highs.
  • XLU is extremely extended above the 200-dma but a “buy signal” has now been registered suggesting higher highs are likely.
  • However, with XLU extremely deviated and overbought, and small correction is likely which will be a better point to add exposure with.
  • As noted previously, the opportunity to add exposure came. However, with the overbought condition in place, you need to wait for a small correction.
  • The long-term trend line remains intact.
  • We are currently at full weight, so no change is required currently.
  • Short-Term Positioning: Bullish
    • Last week: Hold position.
    • This week: Hold current position / Use correction to add positions.
    • Stop-loss adjusted to support at $59.00, $61 for new positions.
  • Long-Term Positioning: Bullish

Health Care

, Sector Buy/Sell Review: 01-28-20
  • XLV has remained intact and is now more extended than we have seen it in quite some time.
  • As noted last week, XLV was extremely overbought and would give way sooner than later.That started this week and may have more to go. Because of the extension we reduced the overweight position in our portfolios to target weight.
  • The move in Healthcare has been parabolic, and the sector is too extended to add positions currently.
  • Short-Term Positioning: Neutral
    • Last week: Hold position.
    • This week: Took profits – reduced overweight to target weight.
    • Stop-loss adjusted to $94
  • Long-Term Positioning: Bullish


, Sector Buy/Sell Review: 01-28-20
  • The correction in XLY started this week and is testing the breakout support level. A failure here will bring the 200-dma into focus.
  • We took profits last week and reduced the position slightly.
  • Hold current positions for now, but take profits and rebalance risks accordingly. New positions can be added on a pullback to the breakout level that holds and works off the overbought condition.
  • A “buy signal” has been triggered which gives the sector support.
  • Short-Term Positioning: Neutral
    • Last week: Hold position
    • This week: Hold position
    • Stop-loss adjusted to $120.
  • Long-Term Positioning: Neutral


, Sector Buy/Sell Review: 01-28-20
  • XTN has broken out of consolidation but quickly ran into resistance at the 3-standard deviation level above the 200-dma. The failure at that level brings the break out level as initial support with the 200-dma close behind.
  • We noted previously, that if XTN could breakout above current resistance there was potential to test old highs. That test occurred and failed and now puts potential additions back on hold.
  • A pullback to $63 must hold if positions are going to be added. However, with the global economy slowing, I have a hunch it won’t.
  • Short-Term Positioning: Neutral
    • Last week: No position
    • This week: No position
  • Long-Term Positioning: Bearish

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Lance Roberts is a Chief Portfolio Strategist/Economist for RIA Advisors. He is also the host of “The Lance Roberts Podcast” and Chief Editor of the “Real Investment Advice” website and author of “Real Investment Daily” blog and “Real Investment Report“. Follow Lance on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In and YouTube
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