May was a strong month for consumer staples, utilities, and the health care sector. As wide-reaching global economic concerns weighed heavily on the broad market indices, the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ( XLP), XLU, and Healthcare Select Sector SPDR ( XLV) managed to outperform.

Looking to the near future, many of the same issues that plagued the global markets in May look set to continue. Devising a strong plan for defense will be essential to successful market navigation.

PowerShares Dynamic Leisure & Entertainment Portfolio ( PEJ)

The summer vacation season is gearing up and as consumers prepare to escape their offices for a little rest and relaxation, investors may want to keep the PEJ and other consumer-focused funds on the radar.

Despite concerns regarding the detrimental effects of rising commodity costs, the consumer has proven to be a resilient corner of the market during the first half of 2011. It will be interesting to see if this strength holds up during the coming months.

Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.

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At the time of publication, Dion Money Management owned iShares MSCI Sweden Index Fund, iShares MSCI Switzerland Index Fund and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Goods Index Fund.

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