Stock market strategists appear to be sticking to the classic cyclical playbook. With expectations of a market recovery, they are leaning toward sectors like technology and industrials, which outperform in an up business cycle.

Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at Standard & Poor's, analyzed the companies in the S&P 500 and sorted them by debt-to-equity ratios within sectors. He notes that the low-debt crowd also happens to be the sectors that tend to perform best in a recovery: technology, health care, energy and industrials. "It's like the Casablanca captain saying, 'Round up the usual suspects,'" he says.

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