10 lessons for investors from 2013
Defensive stocks can lead
the market higher
During the first four months of the year, the defensive sectors — those that are less economically sensitive and tend to fare better when growth is weakening such as utilities, telecommunications, consumer staples and health care — led the overall market to double-digit gains. For the year as a whole, the defensive health care sector outperformed with a powerful gain of 39%, as measured by the S&P 500 Health Care Index. While overall cyclical stocks generally fared the best, for parts of the year, defensive stocks led the way up.