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Sector Primer Series: Financials What effect does the Financials sector have on the S&P 500?
BY Louis Bellucci

Developed in 1999 and jointly managed by S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI, the Global Industry Classification Standard® (GICS®) assigns companies to a single classification at the sub-industry level according to their principal business activity using 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 subindustries, as of Dec. 31, 2018.

The Financials sector comprises companies primarily engaged in Banking, Diversified Financials, and Insurance. The sector includes, but is not limited to:

• Companies that have conventional banking operations;

• Financial institutions primarily engaged in investment banking and brokerage services;

• Insurance and reinsurance brokerage firms;

• Financial exchanges and providers of financial decision-making support tools and products, including ratings agencies; and

• Companies with significantly diversified holdings across three or more sectors, none of which contribute a majority of profit and/or sales.

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