- Investors’ buying activity through May was concentrated in real estate, consumer discretionary, and energy stocks, according to E*Trade data, as economic reopening boosted firms hit hardest by the coronavirus’ initial shock.
- Healthcare stocks were the only sector to see net selling through the period.
- “Investors were likely buying the rumor of treatment and vaccination hopes and selling the news of lackluster trials and results,” Rick Swope, senior director of investor education at E*Trade, said.
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May’s market rally pushed investors back to some of the industries first toppled by the coronavirus pandemic, according to E*Trade data.
All but one of the S&P 500’s sectors were net buys among E*Trade users last month, with the real estate, consumer discretionary, and energy industries seeing the largest share of interest. The shifts arrived as states began reopening their economies and allowing consumers to return to businesses after monthslong closures.
Healthcare stocks were the only ones to see net outflows through the month, sliding 7.2 percentage points to 9.2% net selling. Firms working on coronavirus treatments, including Gilead, Pfizer, and AbbVie saw the heaviest selling activity, according to the brokerage.
“Investors were likely buying the rumor of treatment and vaccination hopes and selling the news of lackluster trials and results,” Rick Swope, senior director of investor education at E*Trade, said.
Read more: A portfolio manager at a $4.6 billion shop breaks down his Warren Buffett-inspired approach to investing — and shares 3 stocks he loaded up on in a ‘really attractive’ market upended by coronavirus
The real estate sector saw net buying activity nearly double to 20.1% from 13%, with investors piling into Simon Property Group and Macerich stock to bet on a mall-industry boom. Buying of consumer discretionary names jumped 4.4 percentage points, according to the firm, with slammed cruise stocks including Carnival and Norwegian enjoying a revival in investor interest.
Energy-stock buying gained 0.9 percentage points, fueled by a sharp recovery in the oil market. Crude prices soared through the month as storage pressures eased and demand crept back amid reopenings. The period also brought West Texas Intermediate crude, the US oil standard, mostly in line with its international peer, Brent crude, after stumbling into negative prices in late April.
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