RRG Charts

Seasonality Shows Weakness Ahead For Financials


Looking at the 3D visualization for US sectors going into May, one sector stands out negatively. That sector is Financials, the fourth largest sector at ~11% of market cap.

For May and June, the historical record is that the Financial sector outperforms the S&P 500 only 35% of the time. This means that, 65% of the time, this sector has UNDERperformed SPY.

The second graph and table above show the average over-/under-performance per sector vs. SPY. As you can see, the Financials sector (XLF), on average, underperformed SPY by 20 Bps in May and even by 80 Bps in June.

This aligns with the expectation of underperformance in May and June.

The Relative Rotation Graph above highlights the rotation for XLF over the last two quarters. In the table, you can see that XLF was the second strongest performer over that period, beating SPY by more than 20%, but a few weeks since, the tail on XLF has started to roll over and move downwards, heading towards the weakening quadrant. This loss of relative momentum aligns with the weak expectation for the sector going into May, with a follow-through into June.

On the price chart, the uptrend for XLF is fully intact and continues to move higher within the boundaries of the rising channel. The "problem" is with the relative strength vs. SPY. The long downtrend is still intact, albeit that the RS-Line is currently testing the descending resistance line. The recent fading of momentum brings the green JdK RS-Momentum line close to crossing below 100, and it is starting to drag RS-ratio lower as well.

The combination of relative strength stalling against resistance and the expected seasonal weakness make Financials a sector to watch out for in the coming weeks/months. The upside potential is looking very pale.


Julius de Kempenaer
Senior Technical Analyst, StockCharts.com
CreatorRelative Rotation Graphs
FounderRRG Research
Host ofSector Spotlight

Please find my handles for social media channels under the Bio below.

Feedback, comments or questions are welcome at Juliusdk@stockcharts.com. I cannot promise to respond to each and every message, but I will certainly read them and, where reasonably possible, use the feedback and comments or answer questions.

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RRG, Relative Rotation Graphs, JdK RS-Ratio, and JdK RS-Momentum are registered trademarks of RRG Research.

Julius de Kempenaer
About the author: is the creator of Relative Rotation Graphs™. This unique method to visualize relative strength within a universe of securities was first launched on Bloomberg professional services terminals in January of 2011 and was released on StockCharts.com in July of 2014. After graduating from the Dutch Royal Military Academy, Julius served in the Dutch Air Force in multiple officer ranks. He retired from the military as a captain in 1990 to enter the financial industry as a portfolio manager for Equity & Law (now part of AXA Investment Managers). Learn More
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