US YTD sector performance at a glance based on ETFs

One of the challenges of stock picking is the amount of data/number of charts one has to go through. One way to approach the market is to go by sectors before going down to individual stocks.

In my opinion there is this very handy method.


Top down approach from sector performance to individual stock

Go to for a list of all US sector based ETFs or exchange traded funds. Sort these funds by price performance. Although past performance does not translate to future performance, it does show up which sector is doing well and which is not. You could invest or trade an ETF directly or if you believe that you could outperform ETFs by doing stocks directly, you can use the ETF ranking as a sector filter to then zoom in on specific stocks. How? Look up the ETF that excites you most, find out its stock holdings and then proceed your individual stock inspection from there.

Captured below is the first page ‘Sector (General) ETF List’ at This table is sorted by the ‘YTD’ header in order of best to poorest performance. Topping the list is GDX – Market Vectors TR Gold Miners with 49.9% gain year-to-date and at the bottom, IBB Nasdaq Biotechnology with 24.2% loss.

 Page 1 screencap of Sector (General) ETF List -

Page 1 screencap of Sector (General) ETF List, 22 March 2016 –

Not coincidentally, two of top ten holdings of GDX are Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining, which I just wrote about 4 days ago ‘2016 Year of gold mining stocks?

For those of you following, GDX performance led by gold’s rally should not be a surprise since gold has given us a glimpse of it’s direction already early in January. See chart below posted on 27 January.

Futures performance YTD (Week 01 - 04 2016)

Futures performance YTD (Week 01 – 04 2016) | Source:

Apart from GDX, I see at least one familiar name – XLF – Financial Select Sector SPDR – which was mentioned here in this post ‘Stock price performance of big name banks since 2014‘.

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