The table below lists the historical sector weightings of the U.S. stock market. The weights have been calculated using the 500 largest public companies at a given date. Currently (12/31/2021), the largest GIGS sector is clearly Information Technology, followed by Health Care and Consumer Discretionary companies. The technology sector has been dominating the U.S. stock market ever since the financial crisis of 2007-2008 and it seems that that there is no end in sight to the sector’s bull run. Note: The new Communication Services sector replaced the previous Telecommunications sector on September 2018.
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U.S. Stock Market (Large Cap) – Sector Weightings
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Changes in the sector weightings during the past two decades (U.S. large cap)
Compared to twenty years ago, the weighting of the Financial sector has decreased considerably. The global financial crisis of 2008 dropped the weight of the sector temporarily to just 11%. Financial services recovered quickly after the crisis but the sector is still much smaller compared to other sectors than it was before the crisis. After the financial crisis ended, the Information technology sector quickly rose from 15% to over 20% with the help of Apple, Microsoft, Meta (Facebook) and Alphabet (Google). Since 2009, the weighting of the Energy sector has plummeted and its currently just a bit more than 2%. In the beginning of the 1980s, Energy was clearly the most valuable sector, making up 25% of the U.S. stock market. Also, the relative market value of the Material companies is now just a small fraction of what it used to be 35 years ago.
The Difference Between Consumer Staples & Consumer Discretionary Sectors
Consumer discretionary companies are selling nonessential goods and services. The businesses include car manufacturers, high-end clothing, media, hotels, and luxury goods. Consumer staples corporations sell products that people are unable (e.g. food, beverages, household items) and unwilling (e.g. tobacco) to stop consuming. Consumer staples businesses are considered non-cyclical and the demand for these products is expected to be much more staple as the consumer discretionary goods.