S&P 500 Index, the first US market-cap-weighted stock market index, was created (stock market futures)  way back in 1957.


S&P 500 is one of the many S&P Dow Jones Indices and is considered to be the top-most single indicator of large-cap US stocks. S&P 500 Index, the first US (stock market futures) market-cap-weighted stock market index, was created way back in 1957 and remains one of the oldest indexes with over 70-year live track record.

1. Top index to track

S&P 500 Index includes nearly 500 leading corporates across about 11 sectors and covers about 80 percent of the market capitalization of the US stock exchanges.  (stock market futures) Nearly $10 trillion of money is indexed or benchmarked to the index. Of this about $3.4 trillion comprises indexed assets themselves. This makes the S&P 500 Index the most widely-traded index in the world.

2. World exposure

The top 4 passive funds by AUM worldwide track S&P 500 Index. In 2018, more  (stock market futures) than 40 per cent of the sales of S&P 500 constituents were reported from foreign countries. The S&P 500 Index has the large-cap companies as constituents and is considered to have a very low correlation with the Indian equity market. Combining assets that are less/not correlated help reduce portfolio volatility, thereby improving risk-adjusted returns.

3. Sector breakdown

The top three sectors in the S&P 500 are Information Technology, Health Care and Communication Services, totaling about 50 per cent of the index. The breakdown of various sectors is as follows:

  • Information Technology – 25.7%
  • Health Care – 15.4%
  • Communication Services – 10.8%
  • Financials – 10.6% 
  • Consumer Discretionary – 10.5%
  • Industrials – 7.9%
  • Consumer Staples – 7.4%
  • Utilities – 3.3%
  • Energy – 3%
  • Real Estate – 2.9%
  • Materials – 2.5%

4. Top 10 Constituents By Index Weight

If you want to own the prime stocks of the S&P 500 index, the top three stocks are Microsoft, Apple and Amazon by index weightage. The top stocks are as follows:

  • Microsoft Corp – Information Technology
  • Apple Inc. – Information Technology
  • Amazon.com Inc – Consumer Discretionary
  • Facebook Inc A – Communication Services
  • Alphabet Inc A – Communication Services
  • Alphabet Inc C – Communication Services
  • Johnson & Johnson – Health Care
  • Berkshire Hathaway – Financials
  • Visa Inc A Information – Technology
  • JP Morgan Chase & Co – Financials

5. S&P 500 Vs Nasdaq

While Nasdaq is an Information Technology heavy index, the S&P 500 Index is a much broad-based index. There are 100 stocks listed on Nasdaq while on S&P 500 Index, there are 500 stocks, thus giving a much-diversified flavor (stock market futures)  to those who want to diversify their international portfolio. Further, there are large and mid-cap stocks listed on Nasdaq while S&P 500 Index has only large-cap stocks.