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Turn, turn, turn—market leadership may be changing

After years in which transportation and biotech stocks have ruled the roost, those sectors may have finally relinquished their leadership roles.

From the beginning of 2012 to the start of 2015, the Dow Jones transportation average rose 82 percent, strongly outpacing the market's 66 percent rising. And much more dramatically, the NYSE Arca biotechnology index rose 224 percent in that time.

This year, the story has been a bit different, with the transports falling 6 percent. Biotech stocks are still green on the year, but have fallen by nearly 6 percent over the past month.

Oppenheimer portfolio strategist Andrew Burkly predicts that the action in biotechs will prove to be short-lived. But he says transports are no longer a market-leading sector, which is the "first leadership change in a while."

Transport stocks "really haven't made a new high on either an absolute or relative basis since the end of last year, which is kind of interesting," he said Thursday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."


Rich Ross, head of technical analysis with Evercore ISI, agrees that we're seeing "some subtle signs of a change in leadership, but you know what? That's what we should be seeing."

Taking a deeper look at the transport and biotech spaces, he says the best buys are found in specific subsectors.

"I think the leadership is changing very subtly—as it should as economic activity picks up. We want to stick with those airlines and when in health care, you want to focus on pharma over those biotech stocks," Ross said.

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