Utilities, Health Care Leading ETF Sectors

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stodgy utilities? Maybe not.

The Utilities Sector SPDR Fund (XLU) is the leading year-to-date performer among the 11 exchange-traded funds that we have been profiling. It's up 8.4% year-to-date, followed by the Health Care Sector SPDR Fund (XLV), up 6.1%. The consumer-related ETFs are the year-to-date laggards shown in today's 'Crunching the Numbers' table.

We crunched the numbers for these ETFs to help you decide if and when to invest. Today's table follows these profiles:

Materials Sector SPDR Fund (XLB) ($47.54, up 2.9% YTD) set an all-time intraday high at $48.26 on March 6 and is above all five key moving averages in today's table. The weekly chart is positive but overbought with its five-week modified moving average at $46.71. Tuesday's close was on a semiannual pivot at $47.54. Quarterly and annual value levels are $45.24 and $43.97 with monthly and weekly risky levels at $48.95 and $49.22.

Industrial Sector SPDR Fund (XLI) ($52.70, up 0.8% YTD) set an all-time intraday high at $53.25 on March 7 and is above all five key moving averages in today's table. The weekly chart will end the week positive given a weekly close above its five-week MMA at $51.77 as the stochastic will be rising from today's flat reading. Semiannual and quarterly value levels are $51.27 and $50.99 with weekly and monthly risky levels at $53.25 and $54.50.

Consumer Discretionary SPDR Fund (XLY) ($65.62, down 1.8% YTD) set an all-time intraday high at $67.85 on March 7 and is below its 21-day simple moving average at $65.95. The weekly chart shifts to negative given a close on Friday below its five-week MMA at $65.39. Semiannual value levels are $65.13 and $63.58 with quarterly and monthly risky levels at $66.98 and $68.02.

Consumer Staples SPDR Fund (XLP) ($42.99, up a penny YTD) set its all-time intraday high at $43.46 on Nov. 18 and is above all five key moving averages in today's table. The weekly chart is positive but overbought with its five-week MMA at $42.44. Monthly and annual value levels are $42.36 and $40.69 with a semiannual pivot at $43.27 and weekly and quarterly risky levels at $43.68 and $44.55.

iShares US Consumer Services (IYC) ($121.75, up 0.3% YTD) set an all-time intraday high at $124.99 on March 7 and is below its 21-day SMA at $122.29. The weekly chart shifts to negative given a close on Friday below its five-week MMA at $121.01. Semiannual value levels are $117.62 and $114.14 with quarterly and monthly risky levels at $124.92 and $125.06.

Energy Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) ($89.59, up 1.2% YTD) set a multiyear intraday high at $89.60 on Tuesday and is above all five key moving averages in today's table. The weekly chart is positive but overbought with and is above its five-week MMA at $87.56. Semiannual and quarterly value levels are $88.66 and $87.89 with an annual pivot at $89.37 and semiannual and annual risky levels at $90.62 and $94.88.

Finance Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) ($22.38, up 2.4% YTD) set a multiyear intraday high at $22.65 on March 21 and is above all five key moving averages in today's table. The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $21.99. Monthly and semiannual value levels are $21.89 and $20.24 with a quarterly pivot at $22.14 and weekly risky level at $22.70.

Healthcare ETF ($58.85, up 6.1% YTD) set an all-time intraday high at $60.49 on March 6 and is just below its 21-day SMA at $58.93. The weekly chart shifts to negative with a close on Friday below its five-week MMA at $58.07. Semiannual value levels are $50.34 and $49.67 with a monthly pivot at $59.13 and quarterly and weekly risky levels at $58.98 and $60.55.

Utilities ETF ($41.17, up 8.4% YTD) set a multiyear intraday high at $41.61 on Monday and is above all five key moving averages in today's table. The weekly chart is positive but overbought with its five-week MMA at $40.35. Annual and semiannual value levels are $39.12 and $38.88 with an annual pivot at $41.19 and weekly risky level at $41.69.

Technology Sector SPDR Fund (XLK) ($36.78, up 2.9% YTD) set a multiyear intraday high at $36.78 on Tuesday and is above all five key moving averages in today's table. The weekly chart is positive but overbought with its five-week MMA at $36.06. Semiannual and quarterly value levels are $35.92 and $34.23 with weekly and monthly risky levels at $37.17 and $37.47.

iShares Dow Transportation (IYT) ($136.67, up 3.6% YTD) set an all-time intraday high at $136.94 on March 7 and is above all five key moving averages in today's table. The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $133.61. Semiannual value levels are $131.89 and $129.17 with a weekly pivot at $135.12 and monthly risky level at $139.77.

Crunching the Numbers with Richard Suttmeier

There are five columns with moving average titles: Five-Week Modified Moving Average, 21-Day Simple Moving Average, 50-Day Simple Moving Average, 200-Day Simple Moving Average and the 200-Week Simple Moving Average.

The column labeled 12x3x3 Weekly Slow Stochastics shows the pattern on each weekly chart with readings from Oversold, Rising, Overbought, Declining or Flat.

Interpretations: (stocks below a moving average listed in Red are below that moving average)

Five-Week Modified Moving Average (MMA) is one of two indicators that define whether or not a weekly chart profile is positive, neutral or negative. The other is the status of the 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic.

A stock with a positive technical rating is above its five-week MMA with rising or overbought stochastics.

A stock with a negative technical rating is below its five-week MMA with declining or oversold stochastics.

A stock with a neutral technical rating has a profile that is not positive or negative.

The 200-Week Simple Moving Average (SMA) is considered a long-term technical support or resistance and as a "reversion to the mean" over a rolling three to five year horizon. (even Apple declined to its 200-week SMA in June 2013)

The 21-Day Simple Moving Average is a short-term technical support or resistance used by many hedge fund traders to adjust positions. A stock above its 21-day SMA will likely move higher over a rolling three to five day horizon and vice versa.

The 50-Day Simple Moving Average is also a technical support or resistance used by many strategists and commentators in financial TV.

The 200-Day Simple Moving Average is another technical support or resistance and I consider this level as a shorter-term "reversion to the mean" over a rolling six to 12 month horizon. (even Apple tested or crossed its 200-day SMA in nine of the last 10 years)

Value Levels, Pivots and Risky Levels are calculated based upon the last nine weekly closes (W), nine monthly closes (M), nine quarterly closes (Q), nine semiannual closes (S) and nine annual closes (A). I have one column for pivots, which is a magnet for the period shown. The columns to the left of the pivots are first and second value levels. The columns to the right of the pivots are first and second risky levels.

Investors who wish to buy a stock should use a good-until-canceled GTC limit order to buy weakness to a value level. Investors who want to sell a stock should use a GTC limit order to sell strength to a risky level.

At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the funds mentioned.

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This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff

Richard Suttmeier is the chief market strategist at ValuEngine.com. He has been a professional in the U.S. Capital Markets since 1972, transferring his engineering skills to the trading and investment world.

Suttmeier has an engineering degree from Georgia Tech and a Master of Science degree from Brooklyn Poly. He began his career in the financial services industry in 1972 trading U.S. Treasury securities in the primary dealer community. He became the first long bond trader for Bache in 1978, and formed the Government Bond Department at LF Rothschild in 1981, helping establish that firm as a primary dealer in 1986. This experience gives him the insights to be an expert on monetary policy, which he features in his newsletters, and market commentary.

Suttmeier's industry licenses include, Series 7 and Registered Principal (Series 24). He has been the Chief Market Strategist for ValuEngine.com since 2008 and often appears on financial TV.

Click here for details on Suttmeier's "Buy and Trade" investment strategy.

Richard Suttmeier can be reached at RSuttmeier@Gmail.com

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