2019 Sector Reviews for Australian and US Markets

by Jan 4, 2020All Articles


The ASX200 index ($XJO) finished 2019 up 18.4% – the best year of the decade and fourth best since 1992. It closed the year only 3% below its all-time high, despite losing 1.8% on the last trading day of the year.

ASX Sectors

The best sector in 2019 was Heath Care ($XHJ) returning 41%, with Financials ($XFJ) lagging the market by 9% (the Rel% to XJO column), with only a 7% gain:

This next Watchlist table shows the performance of each sector by year for the past decade. As you can see, not only was Health Care the leading Australian sector in 2019, but also in 2018 (17.3%) and 2017 (24%). The 3 year annual rate of return column (3Y ARR%) was calculated using the ARR() scripting function, and shows that Health Care has returned an average of 27% per year for each of the last 3 years – and 16.6% over the last 10 years. By contrast, Communication Services ($XTJ)  has a 3Y ARR of -11%, and Energy ($XEJ) has returned -3% per year over the last 10.

Note: all the ASX charts (and the SPX ones below) can be downloaded by clicking the buttons below.

US S&P500

The S&P500 index ($SPX) gained 28.9% in 2019, the best year since 2013.

SPX Sectors

Technolgy ($XLK) dominated the US sectors in 2019, gaining a remarkable 48%. Communication Services ($XLC) and Financials ($XLF) were the only other sectors out-performing the index – and both by less that 1%. Energy ($XLE) was the laggard gaining less than 5% – almost 18% less than the SPX benchmark.

Here’s the 10 year stats for the SPX index and US sectors, showing the index has gained over 11% per year for each of the last 10 years. Again, tech has dominated the last 5 years (gaining over 17% each year) with Consumer Discretionary ($XLY) average 15.5% per year over the last 10 years.

Download Workbooks

Clients can open the above charts in Optuma by clicking the buttons below and saving the workbook files. However, by default the charts and watchlists will display to the last date downloaded. Change the Date Range Property in both the price chart and watchlists from Everything to Date Range to only load to December 31st 2019. The chart and watchlists will then only use data up to that date and ignore 2020 data.

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Darren Hawkins, MSTA

Darren Hawkins, MSTA

Senior Software Specialist at Optuma

Darren is the senior Software Specialist at Optuma. He joined the company in 2009 after attending an introductory technical analysis course. Darren now instructs users all over the world, from experienced Wall Street traders and professional money managers to individual traders drawing their first trendlines.

Darren grew up in the UK and attended college in the USA where he earned a BA in Economics from St Mary's College of Maryland. He went on to spend a few years working at the Nasdaq Stock Market in Washington DC. Going on to live and work in Australia, the US and currently the UK, Darren has a broad understanding of the individual needs of traders, portfolio managers and investors utilising a wide range of methodologies.

In 2014 Darren passed the UK-based Society of Technical Analysts diploma course, and when not looking at charts he keeps a keen eye on England's cricket team - especially if they are playing against Australia. He lives in the Essex countryside in England, with wife Wendy and their labrador, Gabba.


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