I am watching closely the S&P 500 financial and energy sectors. Why? Because, historically, financial stocks have topped out before the broad market while energy stocks show best relative performance at the end of a cyclical bull market. So their leadership role is very important.

The charts below show the two sector indexes on monthly semi-log charts since 2007. The financial sector index is up against its 2007 highs and a convincing breakout through 500 would be very bullish for the stock market. Perhaps it needs a breather and come down to 400 before trying again to break above the important 500 level. The energy sector has been a laggard but a strong monthly close above the 575 level may lead to a test of its 2008 and 2014 highs.


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