The Communication Services Sector contains companies that facilitate communication and offer related content and information through various media.
The Consumer Discretionary Sector encompasses those businesses that tend to be the most sensitive to economic cycles. Its manufacturing segment includes automotive, household durable goods, leisure equipment and textiles & apparel. The services segment includes hotels, restaurants and other leisure facilities, media production and services, and consumer retailing and services.
The Consumer Staples Sector comprises companies whose businesses are less sensitive to economic cycles. It includes manufacturers and distributors of food, beverages and tobacco and producers of non-durable household goods and personal products. It also includes food & drug retailing companies as well as hypermarkets and consumer super centers.
The Energy Sector comprises companies engaged in exploration & production, refining & marketing and storage & transportation of oil & gas and coal & consumable fuels. It also includes companies that offer oil & gas equipment and services.
The Financials Sector contains companies involved in banking, thrifts & mortgage finance, specialized finance, consumer finance, asset management and custody banks, investment banking and brokerage and insurance.
The Health Care Sector includes health care providers & services, companies that manufacture and distribute health care equipments & supplies and health care technology companies. It also includes companies involved in the research, development, production and marketing of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology products.
The Industrials Sector includes manufacturers and distributors of capital goods such as aerospace & defense, building products, electrical equipment and machinery and companies that offer construction & engineering services. It also includes providers of commercial & professional services including printing, environmental and facilities services, office services & supplies, security & alarm services, human resource & employment services, research & consulting services. It also includes companies that provide transportation services.
The Information Technology Sector comprises companies that offer software and information technology services, manufacturers and distributors of technology hardware & equipment such as communications equipment, cellular phones, computers & peripherals, electronic equipment and related instruments and semiconductors.
The Materials Sector includes companies that manufacture chemicals, construction materials, glass, paper, forest products and related packaging products, and metals, minerals and mining companies, including producers of steel.
The Real Estate Sector is the newest sector created by MSCI and S&P under the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS®) structure. This sector includes real estate developers as well as real estate investment trusts excluding mortgage REITs. Real Estate was formerly classified under the Financials Sector but is now a stand-alone sector in recognition of it's growing importance as a distinct asset class. However, mortgage REITs remain in the Financials Sector as they are perceived to be financial not real estate securities.
The Utilities Sector comprises utility companies such as electric, gas and water utilities. It also includes independent power producers & energy traders and companies that engage in generation and distribution of electricity using renewable sources.