Traders think of Biotech as the most volatile sector, but it wasn’t in 2019. Last year, the most volatile sector by far was Oil Services, followed by Oil and Gas Exploration and Gold Miners. The least volatile sectors were Consumer Staples, Utilities and Health Care.

Why does that matter? Volatility in trading is synonymous with probability—the more volatile the sector, the higher the probability for movement, and vice versa. So, investors looking for a stable portfolio could pick Utilities and Consumer Staples. For more upside (and also more downside), check out the Oil Services.

The important thing is to toss out preconceived ideas of which sectors are more or less volatile (and choose or avoid them according to a strategy). And go with actual data—that’s what drives Cherry Picks. It speeds up  the investment selection process and provides real context for trading decisions. Cherry Picks cover individual stocks, as well as ETFs. And speaking of ETFs, all the sectors mentioned have them. 

Michael Rechenthin, Ph.D., aka “Dr. Data,” is the head of data science at tastytrade. @mrechenthin.

Sign up for free cherry picks and market insights at