The materials sector over the last month has been a poor actor, as it is just the 10th best major S&P sector out of 11 down more than 4%. Sure it is hard to talk about the space without mentioning gold and I will probably talk about it in the WEEK AHEAD Note this weekend, but we spoke of it in the last edition here, and it has essentially not moved. The thought “do not short a dull market” does come to mind as it keeps in close contact with the very round 2000 number. One can see here how the group has been held back by the miners since 2024 started and they can be seen lagging behind the precious metal itself here. Notice how gold itself does tend to see better PRICE action when the GDX is leading in the driver’s seat (colored its movement in gold purposely). The package plays have been the best behaved over the last month period and leader PKG was a mixed bag with the WEEKLY chart breaking above a bull flag after a third consecutive well-received earnings reaction but did CLOSE off highs for the WEEKLY range. Is its action yet another example of a mending economy? The daily chart of the overall group via the XLB is pretty straightforward. Stay above 81.50.