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Winning Stocks From Winning Sectors

Thursday, 6 Aug 2009 | 11:33 AM ET

As investors debate whether the stock market gains are sustainable, Barry Knapp, Barclays Capital Managing Director, believes that it is time to be very selective with stocks.

During an interview on Squawk Box this morning, Mr. Knapp, who also heads Barclays' US Portfolio Strategy, said that a broad liquidity-driven rally across all capital markets is starting to make some valuations look stretched in a number of asset classes.

Indeed, the explosive rally in the equity markets since their March 9 lows, has pushed the S&P 500 index to its highest levels since November 2008, marking a 48% gain in the past five months. The S&P Financials sector, for example, which fell 56.7% in 2008, is now up by an impressive 126.1% since early March, and up 12.2% for the year.

Other sectors such as Materials, Consumer Discretionary, and Industrials, have also marked gains north of 60% since the stock market lows. Technology, which is up the most this year with a gain of 35.1%, comes in fifth among the leading sectors since March 9, up 58%.

Looking forward

"Our positioning is focused on the long-term secular trends, especially in the rebalancing of US growth away from consumption and towards investment, and global growth away from the developed world and towards the developing world," Mr. Knapp said when asked about specific sectors. "Areas like technology, industrials, and energy should do reasonably well," he added.

In the near term, investors should pay attention to back to school sales for signs of how those figures might provide insight into consumer spending and how the holiday season might play out, Mr. Knapp suggested. (To watch the full interview click here)

In the meantime, the following tables provide a look at the best performing sectors for each of the top S&P sectors since the March lows.


Indeed, the explosive rally in the equity markets since their March 9 lows, has pushed the S&P 500 index to its highest levels since November 2008, marking a 48% gain in the past five months. The S&P Financials sector, for example, which fell 56.7% in 2008, is now up by an impressive 126.1% since early March, and up 12.2% for the year.

Other sectors such as Materials, Consumer Discretionary, and Industrials, have also marked gains north of 60% since the stock market lows. Technology, which is up the most this year with a gain of 35.1%, comes in fifth among the leading sectors since March 9, up 58%.

Looking forward

"Our positioning is focused on the long-term secular trends, especially in the rebalancing of US growth away from consumption and towards investment, and global growth away from the developed world and towards the developing world," Mr. Knapp said when asked about specific sectors. "Areas like technology, industrials, and energy should do reasonably well," he added.

In the near term, investors should pay attention to back to school sales for signs of how those figures might provide insight into consumer spending and how the holiday season might play out, Mr. Knapp suggested. (To watch the full interview click here)

In the meantime, the following tables provide a look at the best performing sectors for each of the top S&P sectors since the March lows.

Comments? Send them to bythenumbers@cnbc.com

bythenumbers.cnbc.com

  Price   Change %Change
S&P 500
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CBS
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WHR
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JCI
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EXPE
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GT
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ODP
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EMN
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AKS
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DOW
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XL
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FITB
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