In One Chart: Utilities slump into bear market as defensive sector suffers historically steep selloff

by | Oct 12, 2022 | Stock Market

The utilities sector tumbled into a bear market Wednesday, extending a historically steep selloff for stocks traditionally seen as a defensive haven. The S&P 500 utilities sector traded at a record on Sept. 12. It finished Wednesday down 20.88% below that record, according to Dow Jones Market Data, meeting a widely used definition of a bear market as a pullback of 20% from a recent high. The Utilities Select Sector SPDR exchange-traded fund
was down 21.2% over the same stretch, according to FactSet.

Analysts at Bespoke Investment Group noted that such steep declines for the sector are quite rare, with one-month “crashes” of 20% or more occurring only in March 2020, October 2008, late 2002, and the 1930s.

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