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Wall Street's best trade so far this year is buying energy stocks and selling safety

The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas.
Angus Mordant | Reuters

The divergent returns between the energy sector and consumer staples sector — the top-performing and worst-performing groups this year, respectively — indicates that the market is betting on an economic comeback and return to growth.

Investors are returning to cyclical areas of the market like energy, which are more sensitive to the macro backdrop than defensive sectors like staples.

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