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Find Your Next Trade Idea with the Sectors & Industries Tool

September 27, 2017
Sectors and Industries Tool

Looking for a stock to help diversify a portfolio can feel overwhelming. With so many to choose from—literally, thousands across various markets in the U.S.—it can be difficult to pinpoint a trade idea, or a stock that complements your long-term holdings.

One place to start looking for an investment idea is in the TD Ameritrade Sectors & Industries area. Based on the S&P 500 and its 11 sectors—consumer discretionary, consumer staples, energy, financials, health care, industrials, information technology, materials, real estate, telecommunication services, and utilities—the feature allows investors to take a top-down approach to their research, starting out by looking at the market as a whole, then drilling down to a given sector, or industry, or company.

“It’s a great way to find an investment or trade idea,” says Megan Haran, Director, Research & Content Strategy at TD Ameritrade. “You can use it to find sectors and industries that have recently been outperforming the market and then drill down to focus on outperforming companies within those sectors. From there you can make your call on if a stock has potential or is overpriced, or if you decide a stock is under appreciated.”

To find the Sectors & Industries section, log in to and go to Research & Ideas > Markets > Sectors & Industries. To drill down when performing research and analysis, first select a sector to read an overview, and then select an industry within a sector for a list of individual stocks.

Use the drop-down menu under the Jump to a specific sector or industry feature to make your selections from a sector and an industry menus, or drill down on the sector map by selecting the sector you’re interested in.


The Sectors & Industries tool displays the performance of 11 sectors over a specified time period. Source: For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Selecting a specific sector will take you to an up-to-date summary of activity, and a list of industries within that sector, sortable by key data points including performance and research ratings. You’ll also find a list of company symbols, as well as company highlights.

While you can look for sectors, industries, and stocks that have recently gone up, that is certainly not the only way to use this feature. Another way to use the section, Haran says, is to look for ideas to help you diversify across sectors and industries, or to find alternatives to higher-priced stocks.

“If you have a concentration in a particular sector, say, financials, you can find ideas for stocks in another sector that has historically performed better at different points of the business cycle, or that has low correlation to financial stocks to diversify your holdings,” says Haran.

Other valuable research features include sector reports by Credit Suisse. Find links to these reports on sector pages, underneath the sector summary. You can also download and read CFRA Sector Watch under the Latest sector activity summary on the Sectors & Industries home page. Sector Watch is a weekly summary and analysis of the market by CFRA Chief Investment Strategist Sam Stovall.

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