The utilities sector is slipping Monday, putting it on track to snap a long winning streak, although the conditions that helped prolong the win streak--falling Treasury yields and coronavirus-induced stock market weakness--accelerated. The Dow Jones Utility Average (DJX:DJU) slipped 0.2%, after rising 7.3% amid a 12-session win streak through Friday. That win streak is the longest such streak since the 12-day stretch ending July 15, 1992. The SPDR Utilities Select Sector ETF (PSE:XLU) eased 0.3% to put it in danger of snapping an 11-day win streak, which would be the longest since the 12-day win streak ending June 2, 2017. Among the more-active joint components, shares of AES Corp. (NYS:AES) lost 1.6%, Exelon Corp. (NAS:EXC) gave up 0.5% and CenterPoint Energy Inc. (NYS:CNP) fell 0.7%, while Southern Co. (NYS:SO) gained 0.4%. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW:DJIA) tumbled 331 points, or 1.1%, toward a fifth-straight decline, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note (XTUP:BX:TMUBMUSD10Y) lost 7.5 basis points to a 3 1/2-month low of 1.606%. Utilities tend to perform well when Treasury yields fall, because investors tend to treat the sector as a bond proxy given the companies' relatively high dividend and stable earnings. That also makes utilities a defensive sector. The energy sector ETF's dividend yield is 2.80%, compared with the implied yield for the S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) of 1.84%.
Jan. 27, 2020, 12:33 p.m. EST