While the S&P 500 is down 8.7% since last year's closing low on 11/20, the performance of the individual stocks in the index has not been quite as bad. For example, the average stock in the index is down a more modest 3.92%, while 40% of the stocks in the index are higher now than they were on 11/20.
In the table below, we summarize the average performance of stocks since 11/20 according to sector. As shown, Telecom Services and Technology have held up the best. Of the nine stocks in the Telecom sector, the average change since 11/20 has been 22.4%, with six stocks actually having positive returns. More importantly for the market (given its weight in the index), 73% of the stocks in the Technology sector are up since 11/20, and the average gain of all the stocks in the sector is 10.27%.
Not surprisingly, Financials are leading the market to the downside. The average stock in the sector is down nearly 22% since 11/20, and only 21% of the stocks in the sector are higher. Surprisingly, while the Utilities sector is usually a place to seek shelter in bear markets, during the most recent leg lower, it has been one of the weakest. The average Utilities stock is down 15.25%, and less than 12% of the stocks in the sector are up.