Definitive Sector Measures

Our sector indices are always evolving and serve as precise measures of the market segments that drive and respond to market dynamics around the world. As industries grow and shift, the way we classify companies changes too.

Since partnering with MSCI to introduce the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS®) in 1999, our sector indices, including those based on the iconic S&P 500®, have tracked the sector ups and downs of economies around the world. From Consumer Staples to Health Care, each sector index offers a unique set of characteristics that are distinct from the broad-market index while also providing diversification that guards against the risk associated with single-stock investing. Indices tracking GICS sectors can be used both strategically and tactically.


Implementing Sector Strategies

Implementing Sector Strategies

Our research helps investors make more informed decisions on sector allocations and our indices are designed to provide sector solutions that align with a range of objectives.

Bringing rules-based access to sector rotation >

The role of sectors in risk, pricing, and active returns >

The importance of the U.S. market in accessing global sectors >

Using sector strategies to express economic views >


What Does Your Sector Exposure Say About Your Factor Exposure?

What Does Your Sector Exposure Say About Your Factor Exposure?

Our U.S. Sector and Industry Dashboards can help investors monitor sector performance while mapping exposure to factors.

Sector Dashboard >

Equal-Weight Sector Dashboard >

S&P Select Industry Dashboard >


Sector Definitions

  • Communication Services

    Contains companies that provide content, such as information, advertising, entertainment, news, and social media, delivered on networks, primarily through internet, broadband, cellular, cable, and land lines.

  • Consumer Discretionary

    Contains businesses that are more sensitive to economic cycles, including makers of automobiles, household durable goods, leisure equipment, and textiles and apparel. Also covers services such as hotels, restaurants, and other leisure facilities, as well as retailing.

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  • Consumer Staples

    Covers businesses that are less sensitive to economic cycles, including manufacturers and distributors of food, beverages and tobacco, and producers of non-durable household goods and personal products. Also includes food and drug retailers.

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  • Energy

    Covers companies engaged in the exploration and production, refining and marketing, and storage and transportation of oil and gas, and coal and consumable fuels. Also includes companies that offer oil and gas equipment and services.

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  • Financials

    Includes banks and thrifts, as well as providers of diversified financial services, specialized finance, consumer finance, asset management and custody of securities, investment banking and brokerage services, capital markets services, financial exchanges, data and analytics, insurance underwriters and brokers, and mortgage REITs.

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  • Health Care

    Includes health-care providers and services, companies that manufacture and distribute health-care equipment and supplies, and health-care technology companies. Also includes pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

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  • Industrials

    Includes manufacturers and distributors of capital goods such as building products, electrical equipment and machinery, and aerospace and defense. Includes providers of commercial services such as construction and engineering, printing, environmental services, human resource services, research and consulting services, and transportation services.

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  • Information Technology

    Covers companies that offer software and information technology consulting and data processing, excluding internet services and home entertainment. Includes manufacturers and distributors of technology hardware and equipment such as communications equipment, cell phones, computers, electronic equipment and semiconductors.

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  • Materials

    Includes companies that manufacture chemicals, construction materials, glass, paper, forest products and related packaging products, and metals, minerals and mining companies, including producers of steel.

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  • Real Estate

    Includes companies operating in real estate management and development activities, and equity real estate investment trusts (REITs), including diversified, industrial, hotel & resort, office, health care, residential, rental, and specialized REITs, but excluding mortgage REITs.

  • Utilities

    Includes utility companies such as electric, gas, and water utilities. Also includes independent power producers and energy traders and companies that generate and distribute electricity using renewable sources.

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More Resources

  • Sector Research & Commentary

    Our latest papers, videos, data reports, and more.

    Access new insights
  • From Our Blog

    Industry thought leaders offer insights on trending topics in sectors.

    Read the latest
  • S&P 500 Sector Indices

    Detailed information including factsheets and methodologies.

    Explore the indices
  • Putting GICS Together

    Explore the industries and sub-industries of the 11 GICS sectors.

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  • ETFs and Other Investment Products

    What products are linked to our U.S. sector indices?

    Find out