Most sector ETFs have hit new year-to-date highs. Some sector investments like SPDR Select Sector Health Care (XLV) are not only blazing a trail in 2014, they're crushing all-time records. Meanwhile, REIT ETFs like iShares DJ Real Estate (IYR) have shaken off the hangover of 2013's massive spike in rates and have rallied back to take advantage of declining 10-year bond yields.
In contrast, a few segments of the economy have failed to significantly engage market participants. SPDR Select Sector Financials (XLF) remains below its 52-week peak. More noticeably, SPDR Select Sector Energy (XLE) is still slightly negative for 2014. While some prominent advisers and commentators maintain that uncertainty in Central Europe adds to pressures on energy prices, or at least impedes deflationary concerns surrounding energy use, I am not seeing institutional buying interest in XLE.
At least in terms of relative strength, the declining growth in emerging regions