Sectors In Review: January 2020

Sector ETFs had a great month, with most seeing positive returns.

Reviewed by: Heather Bell
Edited by: Heather Bell

The month of November was a strong one for sectors; only real estate and utilities saw all their ETFs end up in the red. The top performers were in the technology sector, including the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology ETF (IBB), which was up 11.45%, followed by the iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF (IHF), up 10.46%, and the SPDR S&P Health Care Equipment ETF (XHE), up 8.03%. The worst performer was in the energy sector: The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) was down 3.67%, while the Vanguard Utilities ETF (VPU) was down 2.06% and the Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLU) was down 1.85%. Sector ETFs gained a total of $3.6 billion in assets during the month, with the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) pulling in $1.6 billion, the Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLK) gaining $881.7 million and the Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLI) gaining $734.9 million. Outflows were much more muted. The biggest loser was the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLP), bleeding just $435.7 million, followed by the iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV) and XLU, which lost $168.7 million and $131.4 million, respectively.




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Sources: Bloomberg and FactSet. Data from 10/31/2019 to 11/30/2019. ETFs chosen to represent each sector based on the most liquid ETF in each segment of the ETF Classification System.


Heather Bell is a former managing editor of She has also held editorial positions at Dow Jones Indexes and Lehman Brothers. Bell is a graduate of Dartmouth college and resides in the Denver area with her two dogs.