For the first time ever, ExxonMobil wasn’t among the top ten companies in the S&P 500 by index weight at the end of the month this August as energy stocks give way to technology as the biggest firms with the largest weight in the index.
The top 10 companies in the S&P 500 now consist of information technology, communications services, financials, consumer discretionary (thanks to Amazon), and health care due to Johnson & Johnson. Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon are ranked first, second, and third, respectively—confirming the decade-long trend of technology giants moving up the weighting and nudging industrials, including energy, down in the standings.
Energy, for its part, hasn’t been a favorite for investors over the past few years. The energy sector currently accounts for 4.4 percent of the S&P 500 index, down from 11.7 percent ten years ago. Exxon, for its part, has seen its weight in the S&P 500 index decline to just 1 percent now from 5 percent back in 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Volatile oil and gas prices, sudden price slumps, and concerns about future oil demand have combined over the past year or two to make investors shun oil and gas stocks, which have been one of the worst performers as a sector in recent months. The energy sector in the S&P 500 has been the worst performer among major industry sectors this year, outperformed by all major sectors such as consumer discretionary, consumer staples, financials, information technology, healthcare, industrials, materials, real estate, communications, and utilities.
The S&P 500 is up nearly 15 percent this year, while the energy portion of that index is down more than 3 percent. That comes even as oil prices are higher than where they were at the start of the year.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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