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S&P 500 Sector Performance for February 2024

You Won’t Believe How Different the S&P 500 Sectors Performed in February – One Sector’s Massive Gains Will Shock You. Over every single time period, sector performance will be driven largely by factors one would expect, such as the overall state of the economy, underlying corporate earnings, current and predicted interest rates, geopolitical events, and inflation, among other factors.

Reviewing the sector performance for the month of February (a very short time period), two things become very clear:

  • First, sectors do not move in lock-step with one another and will often provide very divergent returns for investors – depending on timing and the current economic climate and
  • Second, February did see a divergence in sector performance, although the spread between the best (+6%) and the worst (+1%) narrowed relative to previous months.

Sector Highlights Through February 2024

Sector performance was good for the month of February, as every single one of the 11 S&P 500 sectors advanced. Contrast that with the performance for the month of January, which was mixed, as 7 of the 11 S&P 500 sectors advanced for that month.

Despite February’s solid performance, it was still not quite as good as December’s when 10 of the 11 advanced and 6 of those jumped by more than 5%.

In addition, for February, the range in sector returns narrowed considerably relative to previous months, with Consumer Discretionary up almost 7% and three sectors (Real Estate, Communication Services, and Utilities) up less than 1%. That is still a decent range, but much less than previous months.

Here are the sector returns for the month of February and January (two very short time periods):

S&P 500 SectorJanuary 2024February 2024
Information Technology+6.15%+2.97%
Health Care+2.96%+4.72%
Real Estate-4.11%+0.63%
Consumer Staples+2.06%+2.82%
Consumer Discretionary-1.73%+6.85%
Communication Services+9.13%+0.47%
Source: FMR

What Does It Mean for Investors?

At a very basic level, the differences in returns for the 11 S&P 500 sectors support two fundamental principles of financial planning – asset allocation and diversification.

At your next portfolio review, let’s revisit the differences between asset allocation and diversification. We can also discuss how your portfolio is consistent with your risk profile and personal goals.

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