NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The materials sector has underperformed the overall stock market year to date, but investors in Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) still had a gain of 6.1% through Christmas Eve vs. 13% for the S&P 500. Before we look at the daily and weekly charts for this exchange-traded fund, here's some background.

The Materials Select Sector SPDR has 30 components including Dow Jones Industrial Average component DuPont (DD) , which set an all-time intraday high at $75.82 and is up 15% year to date.

Former Dow component Alcoa (AA) set a multiyear intraday high at $17.75 on Nov. 21 vs. the previous high set at $18.47 in April 2011. After setting its 2014 high, the stock declined 19% to as low as $14.41 on Dec. 16. Even after this setback Alcoa has a 2014 year-to-date gain of 48%.

Reflecting weakness in copper and gold, Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) declined 47% from its 2014 high at $39.32 on July 10 to its 2014 low at $20.94 on Dec. 16. The stock is down 39% year to date.

Gold miner Newmont Mining (NEM) declined 36% from its 2014 high at $27.39 on August 2013 to its 2014 low at $17.60 on Dec. 16. The stock is down 19% year to date.

Here's the daily chart for the Materials Select Sector SPDR.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

The daily chart for the materials sector ETF ($49.06) shows that the 200-day simple moving average (green line) provided buying opportunities in April 2013 when this average was $37.19 and in June 2013 when this average was $38.26.

The 200-day SMA is now at $48.72 and has been a magnet since Oct. 2. XLB traded as low as $44.09 on Oct.15 and rallied to its 2014 high at $51.01 on Nov.21.

Here's the weekly chart for Materials Select Sector SPDR.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

The weekly chart for the materials sector ETF clearly shows this market above its 200-week simple moving average (green line) since Dec. 2011 with this average now at $40.51.

The weekly chart shifts to negative given a close this week below its key weekly moving average at $48.82. The momentum reading shown at the bottom of the graph is declining at 65.80, below the 80.00 overbought threshold.

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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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