Thursday Sector Leaders: Materials, Utilities

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The best performing sector as of midday Thursday is the Materials sector, higher by 0.5%. Within that group, Vulcan Materials Co (Symbol: VMC) and FMC Corp. (Symbol: FMC) are two large stocks leading the way, showing a gain of 6.9% and 3.8%, respectively. Among the high volume ETFs , one ETF closely following materials stocks is the Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (Symbol: XLB), which is up 0.4% on the day, and down 5.33% year-to-date. Vulcan Materials Co , meanwhile, is down 5.11% year-to-date, and FMC Corp., is down 11.74% year-to-date. Combined, VMC and FMC make up approximately 4.4% of the underlying holdings of XLB.

The next best performing sector is the Utilities sector, higher by 0.3%. Among large Utilities stocks, NRG Energy Inc (Symbol: NRG) and Exelon Corp (Symbol: EXC) are the most notable, showing a gain of 5.7% and 1.8%, respectively. One ETF closely tracking Utilities stocks is the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF ( XLU ), which is up 0.2% in midday trading, and down 1.54% on a year-to-date basis. NRG Energy Inc, meanwhile, is up 13.38% year-to-date, and Exelon Corp is up 5.14% year-to-date. Combined, NRG and EXC make up approximately 7.5% of the underlying holdings of XLU.

Comparing these stocks and ETFs on a trailing twelve month basis, below is a relative stock price performance chart, with each of the symbols shown in a different color as labeled in the legend at the bottom:

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Here's a snapshot of how the S&P 500 components within the various sectors are faring in afternoon trading on Thursday. As you can see, three sectors are up on the day, while six sectors are down.

Sector % Change
Materials +0.5%
Utilities +0.3%
Industrial +0.1%
Technology & Communications -0.1%
Consumer Products -0.2%
Services -0.3%
Energy -0.4%
Financial -0.5%
Healthcare -1.3%

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing
Referenced Symbols: XLU , VMC , FMC , XLB , NRG

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