Not too long ago, the Big Cap 20 didn't offer many choices.
Commodity-driven stocks, such as oil, gold and silver issues, dominated the list. But things have changed.
Although three oil stocks are still in the Big Cap 20, the medical sector also has three. Gold is down to one stock. And more sectors are now represented.
Representation, though, isn't the whole story. Three weeks ago, energy was No. 1 among 33 sectors in IBD's Research Tables. As of Monday's IBD, it was No. 9. Five sectors represented in the Big Cap 20 are rated higher than energy.
Let's look at the top-rated large caps in those five groups.
In the apparel sector, Coach (COH) cleared a 58.38 buy point in a double-bottom base Thursday. Volume was 67% above average. The base is third stage, however, which is more prone to failure than a first- or second-stage base.
Coach also has seen earnings and sales growth slow in each of the past three quarters.
The chemical sector offered a breakout. Dow Chemical (DOW) popped past a 39.10 entry in a cup-with-handle base April 21. Volume was 51% above average. The stock is 6% extended from the second-stage pattern.
Dow Chemical was featured in the Income Investor column a week ago, but Dow is more than a dividend play. The firm has altered its profile in recent years by dumping nonstrategic assets and acquiring other companies.
On Thursday, Dow reported Q1 earnings growth of 91% vs. the 53% pegged by the Street. Revenue rose 10% vs. an expected 4%.
But Monday's action was disappointing. The stock gained as much as 3% in heavy volume, but reversed to close less than 1% up.
The leisure sector has two stocks in the Big Cap 20 that are extended from valid buy points or buy ranges. They are online travel arranger Priceline.com (PCLN) and casino stock Wynn Resorts (WYNN).
Wynn bolted as much as 3% Monday, but reversed, giving up all but 0.5% of the gain.
Caterpillar (CAT) hails from the machine sector. After pegging a 52-week high in early April, the stock retreated to its 50-day line in mixed volume. The bounce off the 50-day line lacked convincing volume until Cat gapped up 2% Friday.
On Monday, Cat rose as much as 1% before reversing to finish down almost 1%.