Four S&P Sectors Hit New Highs. Two Traders Pick Their Favorites

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New highs won't stop a few key stock groups, two traders say.

Four S&P 500 sectors — industrials, consumer staples, consumer discretionary and technology — reached fresh all-time highs Friday, the index's seventh straight day of gains.

On a relative return basis, there's a clear winner, Craig Johnson, senior technical research analyst at Piper Sandler, told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Friday.

"Technology still remains among the best performing on a relative basis compared to the others," Johnson said, adding his firm has overweight recommendations on tech, energy and financials.

With the S&P technology ETF (XLK) itself at the midpoint of an upward-trending channel, it "looks like there's still more to come" in the way of upside, Johnson said.

"This is where I would be focused," he said. "A lot of stocks are making new highs but we want to really drive that alpha and we want to be in front of the best relative performers and technology is it right now."

Another group may offer better value, Tocqueville Asset Management portfolio manager John Petrides said in the same interview.

"I think the best value play here for the recovery are the industrials," he said.

As the economy reopens, likely easing supply chain issues and lowering commodity prices, it should be a huge boon for industrials, Petrides said.

"I think the valuation at current levels is in your favor," he said.


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