Stock Market Sectors: 11 Official GICS Groups The Motley Fool

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11 sectors of the stock market

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The notion of putting all your eggs into one basket comes to mind when buying individual stocks, which means you’ll have to do your research before you invest. Individual stocks carry higher risk since any sector specific news or event can impact prices. Individual stocks involve very little hedging, as they are directional bets with only one direction — long.


The energy sector contains oil, gas, coal, and fuel companies, as well as energy equipment and services companies — the ones that build oil-drilling equipment or provide services to oil companies. The GICS system is revised from time to time, especially as industries grow and develop. Real estate companies and REITs were moved from the financials sector to their own separate sector in 2016.

The health care sector includes companies that provide health care services, as well as health care equipment and technology. It includes companies at all stages of pharmaceutical and biotech research, development and production. This sector can be dynamic and exhibits above-trend growth, with some very quickly growing companies.

Sector watch

The content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a comprehensive description of Titan’s investment advisory services. The Business Cycle Approach to Sector Investing provides details on how you can potentially take advantage of opportunities that arise due to the relative performance of sectors in each phase. MarketBeat’s analysts have just released their top five short plays for February 2023. MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street’s top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on… The materials sector consists of mining, refining, chemical, forestry and related companies that are focused on discovering and developing raw materials.

11 sectors of the stock market

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Companies in these groups typically have similar characteristics, from business models to products and services, customer bases, cost structures, and margin profiles. Stock market sectors are a set of categories into which companies and their stocks are sorted based on the primary nature of their business. Devised by S&P Global and Morgan Stanley Capital International , the Global Industry amana capital broker review Classification Standard contains 11 official stock market sectors. A stock market sector is a group of stocks that have a lot in common with each other, usually because they are in similar industries. We categorize stocks into sectors to make it easy to compare companies that have similar business models. When investing, you can choose from stocks within the sectors that interest you.

Utilities sector stocks are usually steady, conservative performers with regional geographic reach. The information technology sector includes companies in the software industry, technology hardware and equipment, and semiconductors & related semiconductor equipment (i.e., chipmakers). A stock market sector is a high-level grouping of publicly traded businesses that operate within the same general set of industries.

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These are considered defensive sectors because people will always need what these companies sell. They’re subject to heavy government regulation, but they’re often safer bets in a shaky market. Many view companies in the healthcare sector as good and safer plays because people will always need medical care. The consumer staples sector is considered a defensive sector because it’s generally resilient in the event of an economic downturn. According to the Global Industry Classification Standard, there are 11 different stock sectors.

Companies in the sector extract and process raw materials before selling them to all other industry sectors. As such, its demand-side market-moving factors are particularly closely tied to the performance of the broader economy. Oil prices have a strong bearing on the performance of Energy companies, although different companies are affected differently. Producers of oil perform strongly during periods while its price is high, but oil refiners benefit when oil prices are lower. The amount of volatility in oil prices may make energy stocks attractive to speculators.

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  • The stock market may seem overwhelming, but the classification system that separates the stock market into 11 sectors can help investors understand the different sectors of the economy.
  • Mr. Thune has 25 years of wealth management experience and has navigated clients through four bear markets and some of the most challenging economic environments in history.
  • By dividing your investments into sectors, you can see where you might be overexposed or underexposed.
  • These sectors include healthcare, materials, real estate, consumer staples, consumer discretionary, utilities, energy, industrials, consumer services, financials, and technology.
  • Chart Performance enables you to chart and change performance timeframe of the percent change for the indices as well as the ability to add a user-entered symbol.

Telecommunication services providers, including both wireless telecom networks and providers of old-style landline services, make up one wing of the sector. At the other end are media and entertainment companies, including both older media like television and radio and interactive media via the internet and newer forms of communication. The energy sector consists of all companies that play a part in the oil, gas, and consumable fuels business. It also includes the companies that refine the material and companies that provide or manufacturer the equipment used in the refinement process.

Materials Sector

But “green” energy offers the promise of higher returns, although with higher risk. The materials sector includes companies that provide various goods for use in manufacturing and other applications. The communication services sector consists of companies that keep people connected. The more exciting part of the sector includes media, entertainment, and interactive media & services companies.

There are 11 stock market sectors, as classified by GICS, which stands for Global Industry Classification Standard. These sectors include healthcare, materials, real estate, consumer staples, consumer discretionary, utilities, energy, industrials, consumer services, financials, and technology. By contrast, the consumer discretionary forex broker review sector includes businesses that produce and distribute goods for which demand generally depends on a consumer’s financial status. These are products consumers might consider purchasing with excess funds , including automobiles and related components, consumer durables , textiles, apparel, and other luxury goods.

These businesses engage in a wide range of services, such as exploring, drilling, refining, transporting, manufacturing equipment, and marketing. The energy sector experiences volatility and performs well when oil prices are high. So although energy vastly underperformed the S&P 500 in 2020, the sector turned around and produced the highest returns since then. Businesses in this sector provide financial services to commercial and retail customers.

How to Include All Sectors in Your Investment Portfolio

The Global Industry Classification Standard divides the market into 11 sectors, composed of 24 industry groups and 69 industries. The commonly-used system helps shape how ETFs and mutual funds are constructed. The utilities sector includes companies that provide customers with utility services, such as water, electric, and gas. Since utilities are considered to be essentials for daily living, the utilities sector is also generally seen as a defensive sector. The real estate sector includes companies that develop or manage real estate property.

The consumer discretionary sector showed steady growth from 2017 to 2021, but the S&P 500’s growth outpaced this sector in each year. The energy sector includes companies that explore for, produce, generate, refine or transport consumable fuels. We will list the sectors by weighting in the S&P 500 Index, or the percentage that the sector “takes up” on the S&P 500 based on market capitalization.

Some of the largest companies in the materials sector are Sherwin-Williams and DuPont. Some of the largest companies in the energy sector are ExxonMobil and Chevron. “While some investors are capable of predicting which sector is going to outperform another, it’s hard to do that,” Campos said. If you want to start building a better foundation for approaching the markets, sign up for my 30-Day Bootcamp. Let’s say last year you decided to invest in five stocks and hold them for the duration of 2019.

Following the sectors can help you see what’s hot and what’s not—today, over the past year, and over longer periods. It can, however, show you how past trends and economic cycles have affected each sector, which can help you decide how to tailor your investments. Consider talking to a financial advisor about which market sectors to focus your portfolio on. Finding the right financial advisor who fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard.SmartAsset’s free toolmatches you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors who will help you achieve your financial goals,get started now.

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