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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Zaiko, CIMA

Changes to the S&P 500 Index

Effective September 24, 2018, S&P Dow Jones Indices and Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS) created a new sector for technology, media, and telecommunication companies. S&P Global Ratings and MSCI oversee the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). These are the first changes by MSCI and S&P on how technology companies are categorized in the S&P 500 since 1999. It's only the second sector addition since 1999 and is a recognition of how consolidation has melded the telecom, media, and internet industries together.


Standard & Poors renamed and expanded the Telecom sector to Communications Services of the S&P 500 index. S&P added a few stocks from the Consumer Discretionary and Technology sectors. The decision to reclassify certain companies was intended to rebalance the S&P 500 in order to mitigate the disproportionate influence of the Tech sector.


Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T) and CenturyLink (CTL) were the only three stocks remaining in the Telecom sector. With the reclassification, Facebook and Alphabet, combined, comprise up to 45% of the new Communication Services sector weighting.


The new Communications Services sector consists of the following companies:


  • Activision Blizzard (ATVI)

  • Alphabet (GOOGL)

  • AT&T (T)

  • CBS (CBS)

  • CenturyLink (CTL)

  • Charter Communications (CHTR)

  • Comcast (CMCSA)

  • Discovery Communications (DISCA)

  • DISH Network (DISH)

  • Electronic Arts (EA)

  • Facebook (FB)

  • IPG Photonics (IPGP)

  • Netflix (NFLX)

  • News Corp (NWSA)

  • Omnicom (OMC)

  • Take-Two Interactive (TTWO)

  • TripAdvisor (TRIP)

  • Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA)

  • Twitter (TWTR)

  • Verizon (VZ)

  • Viacom (VIAB)

  • Walt Disney (DIS)

In addition, eBay (EBAY) moved from the Technology sector to the Consumer Discretionary sector to join Amazon (AMZN) and other e-commerce stocks.


The Communications Services will now be the largest sector of the S&P 500 representing approximately 10% of the index’s capitalization.

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