Utilities, Energy, Health Care Are the ETFs to Beat This Year

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As the second half of 2014 begins, I'm providing key trading information on the 11 exchange-traded funds I've been following for traders and investors including the Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLU) and the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV).

I have new monthly, quarterly and semiannual value levels, pivots and risky levels.

So far this year it's been difficult to pick stocks because many have had double-digit year-to-date gains or losses before or after reporting earnings. This makes ETFs a more conservative, safer investment. Second-quarter earnings season begins next week.

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The Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund ended the first half of the year up 17%, but in the first two days of July the year-to-date gain has been cut to 13%. The weekly chart shows a potential key reversal given a close Thursday below last week's low at $43.91.

In second place this year is the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE), which is up 13%, but this ETF may have peaked at $101.52 on June 23.

Third place is a tie between the Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund and the iShares Dow Transportation Average ETF (IYT), both of which are up 12% year to date. The health care ETF set a new all-time high at $62.07 on Wednesday, taking a fractional lead over transports.

The profiles below provide trading guidelines for the 11 ETFs. Two "Crunching the Numbers" follow.

Materials Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLB) ($49.82, up 7.8% year to date) set an all-time intraday high at $49.96 on July 1 and remains above all five key moving averages in today's first table.

The weekly chart is positive but overbought with its five-week modified moving average at $49.02. Semiannual and annual value levels are $44.59 and $44.35, respectively, with quarterly and semiannual risky levels at $51.09 and $53.91, respectively.

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