The market is at a record high, but that’s not what’s notable

The S&P 500 is closing out September on a high note — an all-time high note, in fact. That's none too unusual, as Friday marked the 38th session in 2017 in which the S&P 500 hit an intraday record level.

What is notable is the specific stocks that have been driving the market of late.

The biggest contributor to the S&P 500 this year has been the biggest drag on the index over the past month. That stock is Apple, which tumbled nearly 6 percent in September, partially due to concerns about its new iPhone 8 and upcoming iPhone X.

In fact, it is striking to note that not one of this year's five biggest S&P contributors is among this month's five biggest S&P contributors. This year's boosters are essentially high-flying tech stocks, while this month, big banks and energy companies have taken the fore.

On a sector level, the 2017-leading information technology and health care stocks rose a respective 0.6 percent and 2.0 percent in the month, lagging the index's sterling 2.4 percent advance. The financial and energy sectors, meanwhile, rose a respective 4.7 percent and 10.4 percent.

"There has definitely been some rotation going on this month from growth to value," commented Mike Binger, senior portfolio manager at Gradient Investments. "I'm not sure yet if the market is rotating to value for an extended period of time or if growth is just pausing."

Either way, those who complain that the market is only rising thanks to the performance of a small set of booming tech stocks had better change their tune.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer. She is co-anchor of the 10AM ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET), broadcast from Post 9 at the New York Stock Exchange.

In March 2018, Eisen was named co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

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