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Industrials Sector Rating: Marketperform

The Industrials sector has been sensitive to fluctuations in the U.S.-China trade relationship this year. While some trade agreements have been reached (at least tentatively) between the United States and its trading partners—notably with Japan, South Korea, Canada and Mexico—continued world trade weakness may threaten the profitability of this globally oriented sector.

The Industrials sector has suffered from concerns about slowing global economic growth, with industrial output faltering as a manufacturing downturn has broadened globally. This has prompted business leaders around the world to put capital spending on hold, stalling revenue growth.

The sector does have positives. Corporate balance sheets remain relatively cash-rich, which should help push management teams to invest in new, more-efficient equipment to help offset weaker productivity. Also, relatively low manufacturing inventories signal the possibility of a demand-inspired rebuilding phase.

Overall, our concerns about the sector have been growing, but we are also aware that even a modest improvement in trade relations with China could result in a fairly sharp near-term rally. In an attempt to balance those risks, we are keeping our marketperform rating on the Industrials sector.

What do the ratings mean?

The sectors we analyze are from the widely recognized Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS®) groupings. After a review of risks and opportunities, we give each stock sector one of the following ratings:

  • Outperform: likely to perform better than the broader stock market*
  • Underperform: likely to perform worse than the broader stock market
  • Marketperform: likely to track the broader stock market


Want to learn more about a specific sector?  Click on a link below for more information or visit Schwab Sector Views to see how they compare. Clients can log in to see our top-rated stocks in the Industrials sector.


* As represented by the S&P 500 index

Communication Services Health Care
Consumer Discretionary Information Technology
Consumer Staples Materials
Energy Real Estate
Financials Utilities


What You Can Do Next

Health Care Sector Rating: Outperform
Information Technology Sector Rating: Marketperform

Important Disclosures

Schwab Sector Views do not represent a personalized recommendation of a particular investment strategy to you. You should not buy or sell an investment without first considering whether it is appropriate for you and your portfolio. Additionally, you should review and consider any recent market news. Supporting documentation for any claims or statistical information is available upon request.

All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market or other conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.

Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses and cannot be invested in directly. For more information on indexes please see

Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.

Investing involves risk including loss of principal.

The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.


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