The financial crisis and subsequent market crash of 2007-2009 is a big outlier in the normal cyclic environment so I didn't originally included it in my analysis. It would've messed around with the averages especially but its still interesting to see what happened during that time frame. Did the trend generally hold?
During that crash, the S&P dropped almost 60%. The cyclics: industrial and materials, both did worse. Consumer discretionary and tech was close to the S&P but slightly better than industrials and materials.
And again, health, utilities, and consumer staples killed, doing much better than the S&P by 10-25% or more. Consumer staples only (!) dropped 31%. If you had moved to that as a defensive move, you would've done very well.
So looks like the trend holds very very well, even during the big outlier that was the financial crisis.
Maybe my next post, I'll add in the financial sector as they might have changed how they rank ordered pre and post crisis.