“In previous instances where XLP’s relative strength versus the S&P has fallen below 0.85, the average S&P returns over the next six-month and one-year time frame have lagged the norm,” according to Schaeffer’s. “The six-month returns are particularly weak relative to the S&P’s ‘anytime’ performance, looking at both the average return and the percentage of positive returns. And since this latest signal flashed on April 10, that six-month time frame roughly corresponds with the May-October period that we’ve already established as being the weakest six months of the year for the stock market.”

Year-to-date, investors have pulled $537.44 million from XLP.

Rivals to XLP include the Vanguard Consumer Staples ETF (NYSEArca: VDC) and the Fidelity MSCI Consumer Staples Index ETF (NYSEArca: FSTA).

For more information on the consumer sector, visit our consumer staples category.