If a bear market is defined as a 20% drawdown, then the Consumer Staples sector managed to avoid the bear entirely in 2022. While the S&P 500 peaked in January of last year before embarking on a steep 25% decline, the Staples managed to keep climbing until April. They were also leaders out of the October lows, climbing 15% by the end of November and getting within 5% of new all-time highs. The S&P 500, for context, still hasn’t gotten that close to its own former highs.
Since that November peak, though, Staples have been completely left behind by the rally. The sector isn’t in a downtrend – it’s above its 200-day average and has set two higher lows since the October bottom – but it’s not in an uptrend either. Their January 2022 highs have been stiff resistance for more than a year.