Quick — which stock sectors have been the best performers over the past month? The information technology sector is not among them.

Here’s how the 11 sectors of the benchmark S&P 500 Index
SPX,
-1.79%

 have fared over the past month and for all of 2020 through Sept. 18:

Index

Price change – Aug. 18 through Sept. 18

Price change – 2020

Materials

4.6%

6.8%

Industrials

2.5%

-3.5%

Financials

0.0%

-20.1%

Real Estate

-1.7%

-8.4%

Consumer Staples

-1.8%

0.6%

Health Care

-1.9%

3.2%

Utilities

-2.9%

-10.2%

Information Technology

-2.9%

21.9%

Communication Services

-3.0%

6.4%

Consumer Discretionary

-4.0%

18.5%

Energy

-10.6%

-45.1%

S&P 500 Index

-2.1%

2.7%

Source: FactSet

All price changes in this article exclude dividends.

You may be surprised to see the materials and industrials sectors leading over the past month, especially because so much of the financial media’s focus has been on the FAANG stocks and Microsoft Corp.
MSFT,
+0.18%
,
whose combined market capitalization is $6.6 trillion, or 24% of the index’s combined market cap, according to FactSet.

Most of the FAANG + Microsoft group members have had a fantastic year, even with the declines over the past month:

You may have to scroll the table to the right to see all the data.

Among these six companies, only Apple Inc.
AAPL,
+1.56%

 and Microsoft are in the technology sector, while Facebook Inc.
FB,
-1.93%
,
Netflix Inc.
NFLX,
+2.69%

 and Alphabet Inc.
GOOG,
-2.41%

 
GOOGL,
-1.91%

 are in the communications services sector (also having a banner year) and Amazon.com Inc.
AMZN,
-1.46%

is in the consumer discretionary sector.

But the cap-weighting of the S&P 500 means investors might not realize that 58% of those 500 stocks have actually declined during 2020.

Turning back to the materials and industrials sectors, Jefferies analyst Steven DeSanctis wrote in a note to clients on Monday that he was confident about his “overweight” recommendation for both because of improving macroeconomic conditions.

He cited a weakening dollar, greater demand from China and rising commodity prices for the materials sector, and improving industrial-supply numbers as well. He added that recent earnings-estimate revisions among analysts for the two sectors were positive and that tech-stock valuations were looking ripe.

DeSanctis is actually focused on small-cap and mid-cap stocks. If we expand beyond the S&P 500 to the S&P 1500 Composite Index (which also includes the S&P Small Cap 600 Index
SML,
-3.76%

 and the S&P Mid Cap 400 Index), there are 324 stocks in the materials and industrials sectors. Narrowing the list, there are 223 companies with market capitalizations of at least $1 billion that are covered by at least five sell-side analysts. Among these 223, 35 have “buy” or equivalent ratings among at least 75% of analysts.

Here they are, sorted by implied 12-month upside potential, based on consensus price targets (scroll the table at the bottom, to the right, to see all the data):

Company

Ticker

Industry

Share ‘buy’ ratings

Closing price – Sept. 18

Cons. Price target

Implied 12-month upside potential

Price change – Aug. 18 through Sept. 18

Price change – 2020

Patrick Industries Inc.

PATK,
-5.44%

 

Homebuilding

100%

$51.74

$80.67

56%

-19.5%

-1.3%

Harsco Corp.

HSC,
-8.80%

 

Metal Fabrication

83%

$15.34

$20.75

35%

4.7%

-33.3%

Applied Industrial Technologies Inc.

AIT,
-5.26%

 

Wholesale Distributors

100%

$55.85

$75.40

35%

-11.6%

-16.3%

Curtiss-Wright Corp.

CW,
-2.20%

 

Aerospace and Defense

100%

$98.70

$127.00

29%

-4.3%

-29.9%

Cubic Corp.

CUB,
+31.00%

 

Aerospace and Defense

88%

$44.37

$56.86

28%

-3.4%

-30.2%

L3Harris Technologies Inc.

LHX,
-4.15%

 

Aerospace and Defense

95%

$185.21

$236.45

28%

2.3%

-6.4%

Raytheon Technologies Corp.

RTX,
-3.72%

 

Aerospace and Defense

75%

$62.35

$79.00

27%

0.4%

-29.4%

MasTec Inc.

MTZ,
-6.76%

 

Engineering and Construction

100%

$43.46

$54.82

26%

-4.4%

-32.3%

Ashland Global Holdings Inc.

ASH,
-3.47%

 

Chemicals: Specialty

82%

$71.07

$88.60

25%

-6.9%

-7.1%

Ingevity Corp.

NGVT,
-8.88%

 

Chemicals: Major Diversified

78%

$55.58

$68.89

24%

-5.5%

-36.4%

SkyWest, Inc.

SKYW,
-6.63%

 

Airlines

100%

$33.75

$41.67

23%

10.7%

-47.8%

Mercury Systems Inc.

MRCY,
+0.95%

 

Electronic Equipment/ Instruments

82%

$75.27

$92.80

23%

-2.0%

8.9%

Univar Solutions Inc.

UNVR,
-8.13%

 

Wholesale Distributors

78%

$18.38

$22.22

21%

1.8%

-24.2%

Carlisle Cos. Inc.

CSL,
-3.06%

 

Miscellaneous Manufacturing

89%

$122.41

$147.75

21%

-2.9%

-24.4%

SPX Corp.

SPXC,
-3.35%

 

Industrial Conglomerates

83%

$43.50

$52.00

20%

-0.8%

-14.5%

Minerals Technologies Inc.

MTX,
-5.21%

 

Chemicals: Specialty

100%

$49.67

$59.00

19%

-4.1%

-13.8%

Dycom Industries Inc.

DY,
-4.69%

 

Engineering and Construction

86%

$55.39

$65.00

17%

17.3%

17.5%

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc.

AAWW,
-3.61%

 

Air Freight/ Couriers

83%

$61.23

$71.83

17%

4.6%

122.1%

Aecom

ACM,
-4.80%

 

Engineering and Construction

80%

$39.97

$46.44

16%

4.7%

-7.3%

Teledyne Technologies Inc.

TDY,
-3.78%

 

Aerospace and Defense

100%

$325.07

$376.00

16%

1.6%

-6.2%

Northrop Grumman Corp.

NOC,
-4.65%

 

Aerospace and Defense

77%

$341.50

$394.95

16%

1.2%

-0.7%

Timken Co.

TKR,
-4.27%

 

Metal Fabrication

90%

$55.77

$64.00

15%

2.6%

-1.0%

Arcosa Inc.

ACA,
-4.11%

 

Trucks/ Construction/ Farm Machinery

100%

$45.40

$51.80

14%

0.5%

1.9%

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.

J,
-5.13%

 

Engineering and Construction

94%

$94.11

$104.92

11%

4.7%

4.8%

FMC Corp.

FMC,
-4.23%

 

Chemicals: Agricultural

86%

$110.56

$123.11

11%

1.3%

10.8%

DuPont de Nemours Inc.

DD,
-5.35%

 

Chemicals: Major Diversified

83%

$59.29

$65.20

10%

4.0%

-7.6%

Chart Industries Inc.

GTLS,
-6.74%

 

Industrial Machinery

87%

$71.31

$78.07

9%

-1.1%

5.7%

Builders FirstSource Inc.

BLDR,
-6.04%

 

Building Products

90%

$31.71

$34.40

9%

7.5%

24.8%

Ametek Inc.

AME,
-4.96%

 

Electrical Products

76%

$100.71

$108.87

8%

-0.9%

1.0%

Generac Holdings Inc.

GNRC,
-1.47%

 

Electrical Products

77%

$182.68

$195.90

7%

0.6%

81.6%

Quanta Services Inc.

PWR,
-5.51%

 

Engineering and Construction

100%

$51.90

$55.54

7%

3.1%

27.5%

XPO Logistics Inc.

XPO,
-4.02%

 

Trucking

75%

$86.69

$92.17

6%

7.1%

8.8%

Vicor Corp.

VICR,
-7.33%

 

Electronic Components

80%

$79.90

$83.00

4%

-1.5%

71.0%

IAA Inc.

IAA,
-1.07%

 

Specialty Stores

100%

$51.05

$52.25

2%

5.9%

8.5%

Sunrun Inc.

RUN,
-1.92%

 

Electric Utilities

89%

$60.86

$50.61

-17%

31.4%

340.7%

Source: FactSet

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