The Global Industry Classification Standard® (GICS®) assigns a company to a single business classification according to its principal business activity. This assignment uses quantitative and qualitative factors, including revenues, earnings, and market perception. The sector is the first level of the four-tiered, hierarchical industry classification system that includes 11 sectors, 24 industry groups, 69 industries, and 158 sub-industries. GICS was developed in 1999 and is jointly managed by S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI.
The Industrials sector comprises companies primarily engaged in:
- Producing capital goods, such as manufacturers of aerospace and defense products, building products, electrical equipment, and machinery, as well as diversified industrial conglomerates;
- Providing commercial and professional services; and
- Transportation such as railroads, air freight and logistics, airlines, and trucking.
The S&P 500® Industrials comprises all companies in the S&P 500 included in the sector by GICS. Created in 1957, the S&P 500 was the first broad U.S. market-cap-weighted stock market index. Today, it is the basis of many listed and over-the-counter investment instruments.
The Industrials sector is the sixth most heavily weighted of the 11 sectors within the S&P 500. As of Dec. 31, 2018, the sector represented 9.20% of the S&P 500 (see Exhibit 2). Since the index is market-capitalization weighted, this sector has an above-average influence on the overall index performance.