Stocks are one of the most vital financial instruments in the world today. Here's a guide to provide a basic understanding of one ...
In this article, we present to you a list of the 10 largest components of the S&P 500 stocks to provide you with a better picture of what drives the market.
The Standard & Poor‘s 500 or simply the S&P 500 is a stock market index that tracks the stocks of 500 large-cap United States firms. The S&P 500 stocks are made up of companies from 11 sectors of the U.S economy and it is a picture of how healthy the U.S. stock market and the economy are in general, as it accounts for 80 percent of the market value of the U.S. stock market.
The S&P 500 is weighted by market cap, and as such, the largest stocks have a massive impact on both the long-term and daily price movement of the entire index. It’s worthy of note that the 10-largest stocks make up over a quarter of the total market cap of the S&P 500.
Established in April 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Microsoft specializes in making computer software and hardware components for enterprises and personal use. The tech giant is best known for its suite of products which have stood the test of time, including the Windows operating system, the Xbox computer game, and the Microsoft Office suite among others.
Founded in April 1976 by the late Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Apple focuses on manufacturing software and hardware products for the consumer market. Apple’s most popular product is the Apple iPhone, which was first released in June 2007. Other products from the stables of Apple include the iPad, iPod, and Mac computers. What’s more, the company also runs Apple Music and Apple TV.
Established in July 1994 in Bellevue, Washington, U.S., by Jeff Bezos, Amazon is a leading online retailer which initially started as an online marketplace for books but has since diversified its business to include all kinds of goods, plus a cloud-computing service called Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Whole Foods Chain.
On July 23, 2020, reports emerged that Amazon has opened talks to buy a 9.9 percent stake in India’s Reliance Retail.
Facebook bought photo-sharing app, Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion and took over WhatsApp in 2014 for $14 billion. Facebook also owns Oculus, a virtual reality equipment manufacturing company.
Earlier in June 2019, Facebook unveiled plans to launch its global stablecoin dubbed Libra, as part of greater plans to foster financial inclusion for millions of unbanked masses across the globe.
Interestingly, Facebook rose to the top ten rankings during the COVID-19 pandemic, as more people used its platforms to keep in touch with their friends and family.
Founded on October 2, 2015, Alphabet is the parent company of the world’s number one search engine, Google, as well as the popular video-sharing platform, YouTube. Alphabet’s stock comes in two major share classes: C shares and A shares.
Specifically, Google’s C shares do not give shareholders voting rights in the company, in essence, holders cannot take part in proxy votes. On the other hand, the A shares are a bit higher in value than the C shares, and holders have voting rights in Google.
Notably, both the A shares and C shares trade on the S&P 500, with each of them having a market cap large enough to make it to the top 10 list. It’s worthy of note that Google also has a class B shares, however, it is only available to insiders of the firm, as it is not traded on the open stock market. Check out our guide “Alphabet’s GOOG vs. GOOGL: What’s the Difference?” for more information.
Established in January 1886, Johnson & Johnson specializes in manufacturing both medical and consumer products. Johnson & Johnson has three main businesses: pharmaceuticals (prescription and over-the-counter), manufacturing of medical devices, and consumer hygiene products, as well as wellness products. Some of the firm’s popular brands include the Band-Aid Brand bandages, Johnson’s Baby products, Neutrogena skin and beauty products, among others.
Established in 1839 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, United States, Berkshire Hathaway is an American multinational holding company for Warren Buffett’s numerous investments. Berkshire Hathaway is in charge of GEICO, the second-largest auto insurer in the United States, leading consumer brands such as Dairy Queen, airplane parts maker, Precision Castparts Corp among others.
What’s more, Berkshire Hathaway owns a large chunk of equities that took a significant hit when the stock markets crashed in the first quarter of 2020. This is why the firm has lost several places in the rankings.
Established in September 1958, Visa is a digital payments technology heavyweight that provides clearing, authorizing, and settlement services for its Visa-branded credit and debit cards issued by a vast array of companies across the globe. Notably, Visa has a multi-sided business model with two major interdependent customer segments: Consumers and Merchants.
Founded in October 1837, the Procter and Gamble Company (P&G) is an American multinational consumer goods corporation. The company specializes in personal care and home care products. P&G is in charge of more than 65 brands including Pampers diapers, Gillette razors, Ivory soap, and more.