The materials sector has lead stocks higher in the most recent upswing that began in late August. TheĀ Materials Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLB), is up 15% since August 26 compared to 11% for the S&P 500 over the same time period.


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Top holdings for XLB include Freeport-McMoRan, DuPont, Dow Chemical and Newmont Mining. Freeport and Newmont have been helped by the strength in gold prices. DuPont continues to beat earnings expectations and Dow Chemical reported 20% sales growth in the most recent quarter as the international commodity and specialty chemical markets continue to recover.

XLB carries a 0.21% expense ratio and a dividend yield of 3.07%.