Editor's Note: This article was originally published in John Murphy's Market Message on Thursday, June 27th at 3:49pm ET.
Previous messages have pointed out that defensive stock sectors were top performers since the market hit a peak at the end of April when trade tensions started to resurface. Stocks, however, have recovered most of their May losses during the month of June. And sector leadership during June reflects that more opimistic alignment. Chart 1 shows sector performance for the past month. And it shows defensive groups like utilities, real estate, and consumer staples lagging behind. June leadership has come from materials, technology, consumer discretionary and industrials which usually do better when investors are willing to assume more risk. In the case of materials, the biggest gains came from gold miners which are generally considered to be more defensive. But more economically-sensitive copper and steel stocks also saw a June rebound. It's also revealing to dig down into the other three leading sectors to see where their leadership came from.