The S&P 500 is jumping off from one of its best year in decades.
The broad-based index rallied 29% in 2019, its best annual gain since 2013. It's also one of its biggest gains since 1997.
To begin the new year, strategist Matt Maley says one chart reveals the top pick to begin 2020.
"It's the KRE regional banking ETF," Miller Tabak's chief market strategist said on CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Tuesday. "This is a group, of the whole banking sector in fact, that I was very cautious on for more than two years and turned bullish on in August when I saw a low on interest rates."
Maley expects interest rates to move higher, steepening the yield curve and giving a boost to banks whose profits are fueled by high net-interest margins. Beyond that, the chart also shows technical support.
"If you look at the chart, it's broken out of the sideways range that it was in for 11 months. It's a little overbought but if it can hold above that level and break a little bit higher as we move into the new year, it's really going to take off. Whenever you get rangebound for a multimonth period of time and really break out of it, it tends to go for an extended period of time," said Maley.
Not all strategists agree. Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management, says the economy could keep the sector suppressed into the new year.
"It's a kind of a fake breakout right now," Schlossberg said during the same segment. "The bet on the KRE is that the Main Street economy begins to accelerate in 2020. I think the opposite happens. I think most of the stimulus from deficit spending has already been in the system and we're going to be essentially flat on rates, and perhaps even go down low on rates if the economy begins to slow."
That would then make for trouble in the banking sector, he says.
"So, opinion, I think there's more danger than reward at this point as far as the banking sector goes, and I would not want to be trading it," he added.