If the economy keeps getting better and the Fed is able to taper, investors may want to consider more economically sensitive cyclical areas. By the time the Fed is ready to curtail its bond purchases, the "rotation from defensive to cyclicals will be well underway," said Art Hogan at Lazard Capital Markets.
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"Think about what's going to play out over the next 12 to 24 months, which will be much more cyclical in nature," Hogan told CNBC. "You want to look at technology; you don't want to look at utilities."
Over the past three months, financials, consumer discretionary and technology have been among the market's best-performing sectors, while utilities have lagged badly.
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While they've already started to move, cyclicals remain cheaper than their defensive counterparts, potentially giving them more room to run.
According to Sam Stovall at S&P Capital IQ, defensives are trading at about 17.5 times 2013 earnings, versus 15 times for cyclicals and 15.9 times for the broader market. He said he likes consumer discretionary and is "warming" to industrials.
Other strategists agree. Jerry Castellini of CastleArk Management told CNBC that he likes financials, industrials and energy, which will benefit as the economy improves. "The greatest thing the market could have happen to it would be for the Fed to taper," he said, as it would mean higher earnings for some of the market's riskier areas.
"So far in May, we've seen a big rotation out of defensives, and I think this continues through year end," said Savita Subramanian, strategist at BofA Merrill Lynch. "While the easy money in the market might have been made at this point, the way to play equities is to focus on the undervalued cyclical growth options that are trading at pretty depressed multiples."
By CNBC's Justin Menza.