S&P 500 is a stock index that includes stocks of 500 American companies. The index has been provided by Standard & Poor's since 1957. Companies with the largest capitalization are selected for the list. Total turnover of the companies included in S&P 500 makes up about 80% of the US stock market. The top of S&P 500 includes stocks from companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, American Express Co, Caterpillar, Cisco Systems, Johnson & Johnson, Exxon Mobil Corp, Facebook and others. The list of companies and the selection criteria change every year. Most companies included in the index belong to the industrial sector (about 400), two dozen companies are in the transport sector, 40 are financial companies, and another 40 belong to the utility industry.
S&P index inclusion criteria:
—traded on NASDAQ and New York Stock Exchange, as well as on AMEX;
—the company’s market capitalization must be up to the standard set by the agency. The exact number is subject to change;
—half of the company’s shares must be in public circulation;
—no losses during the year preceding the index calculation.