On an unpleasant few days for the market, the worst performers have been the growth-oriented stocks that have been leading stocks higher. And according to Sterne Agee chief market technician Carter Worth, the turnaround in market leadership is just getting started.
On CNBC's "Options Action," Worth on Friday presented a chart comparing three different groups of stocks: the Russell 2000, the index's growth names, and the index's value-oriented stocks. This elegant charting technique allows him to compare the moves in growth stocks to the moves in value stocks while quieting the action of the index as a whole.
Worth shows that growth stocks have declined 4 percent toward the performance of the index, while value stocks have advanced 4 percent toward the performance of the index.
"We're talking about 800 basis points of spread, which is fairly epic," Worth said. "Now look at the long-term picture—it's just beginning."
Worth then produced a longer version of the same chart, which portrays an even more exaggerated divergence.
"This is the spread since the bull market began," Worth explained. "We're thinking considerably more convergence in this very divergent action since the bull market began."
The conclusion Worth draws is simply this: After getting trounced by growth stocks for years, value names will take this opportunity to play catch-up.
Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that value stocks will go higher. Worth has long been bearish on the market as a whole. Still, while growth and value stocks may both fall, Worth predicts that value stocks will not fall as quickly.
—By CNBC's Alex Rosenberg.