The stock market consists of groups of shares. A group of
shares can be evaluated based on industries.
The lingo in the share market refers to the industries as sectors. A sector can include,
financial, industrials, energy, discretionary, communications, technology,
staples and utilities. While you might not believe the broader market will rise
or fall, you might have a view on a specific sector. Having a way to trade a
sector or a specific industry provides you with several different trading
opportunities. Additionally, you might even consider trading one sector versus
Why Trade a Specific Sector
Different aspects of the economy will drive the price of a
specific sector more than others. For example, when the price of crude oil or
natural gas increases or decreases, this
will have a direct
effect on the energy shares sector. When interest rates climb, generally
the banking or financial sector outperforms. When interest rates fall, the
utility and real-estate sectors usually benefit. By having the ability to
pinpoint a specific sector to trade based on a change in some part of the
economy is advantageous.
An Example of a Sector
An example of when you might consider trading the energy
sector based on an impetus would follow the Energy Information Administration
inventory report or the American Petroleum Institute inventory report. Monthly there is also the OPEC energy report
as well as the International Energy Agency outlook on energy. When new information becomes available, a
sector such as the energy industry will reevaluate its price levels.
How Can You Trade Sectors?
The most common way to trade a sector is to use a sector exchange-traded
fund (ETF). Many reputable brokers even provide CFDs on ETFs. You can purchase or sell an ETF to trade it directionally. You can also
trade an ETF against another ETF or an index.
For example, you might believe the energy ETF will
outperform the broader markets. While you think there will be outperformance,
you might not think the energy sector will rise. One way to play this trade is
to purchase an energy sector ETF, and simultaneously sell the S&P 500
This will create a market neutral trade which is often
called a pair-trade. You can also create
a pair trade on ETFs. For example, you can purchase the financial sector ETF
and simultaneously sell the utility ETF.
This trade is generally not affected by
the overall movements of the broader market. This
trade instead moves as the sectors change in value relative to one
The stock market is broken down into different industries
called sectors. While some sectors move in tandem with the broader market, most
have a different stimulus that will drive
the price of a sector. You can trade sectors by using a sector ETF. You can trade
these directionally, by looking for a specific impetus or you can trade them as
a market neutral trade. A market neutral trade is often called a pair-trade.