The Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS®) was developed in 1999 by S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI. The GICS methodology aims to enhance the investment research and asset management process for financial professionals worldwide. It is the result of numerous discussions with asset owners, portfolio managers, and investment analysts around the world. It was designed in response to the global financial community’s need for accurate, complete, and standard industry definitions.

The GICS methodology has been widely accepted as an industry analysis framework for investment research, portfolio management and asset allocation. Its universal approach to industries worldwide has contributed to transparency and efficiency in the investment process, and the GICS methodology supports the trend towards sector-based investing.

The GICS structure is

The structure applies to companies globally
The structure reflects the current state of industries in the equity investment universe
The structure offers four levels of analysis, ranging from the most general (sector) to the most specialized (sub-industry)
Annual reviews are conducted by S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI to ensure that the structure remains fully representative of today's global markets

The GICS structure consists of
11 sectors,
24 industry groups,
69 industries, and
158 sub-industries.

Sector Definitions

  • Communication Services

    Contains companies that provide content, such as information, advertising, entertainment, news, and social media, delivered on networks, primarily through internet, broadband, cellular, cable, and land lines.

  • Consumer Discretionary

    Contains businesses that are more sensitive to economic cycles, including makers of automobiles, household durable goods, leisure equipment, and textiles and apparel. Also covers services such as hotels, restaurants, and other leisure facilities, as well as retailing.

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  • Consumer Staples

    Covers businesses that are less sensitive to economic cycles, including manufacturers and distributors of food, beverages and tobacco, and producers of non-durable household goods and personal products. Also includes food and drug retailers.

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  • Energy

    Covers companies engaged in the exploration and production, refining and marketing, and storage and transportation of oil and gas, and coal and consumable fuels. Also includes companies that offer oil and gas equipment and services.

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  • Financials

    Includes banks and thrifts, as well as providers of diversified financial services, specialized finance, consumer finance, asset management and custody of securities, investment banking and brokerage services, capital markets services, financial exchanges, data and analytics, insurance underwriters and brokers, and mortgage REITs.

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  • Health Care

    Includes health care providers and services, companies that manufacture and distribute health care equipment and supplies, and health care technology companies. Also includes pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

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  • Industrials

    Includes manufacturers and distributors of capital goods such as building products, electrical equipment and machinery, and aerospace and defense products. Includes providers of commercial services such as construction and engineering, printing, environmental services, human resource services, research and consulting services, and transportation services.

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  • Information Technology

    Covers companies that offer software and information technology consulting and data processing, excluding internet services and home entertainment. Includes manufacturers and distributors of technology hardware and equipment such as communications equipment, cell phones, computers, electronic equipment, and semiconductors.

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  • Materials

    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.

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  • Real Estate

    Includes companies operating in real estate management and development activities, and equity real estate investment trusts (REITs), including diversified, industrial, hotel and resort, office, health care, residential, rental, and specialized REITs, but excluding mortgage REITs.

  • Utilities

    Includes utility companies such as electric, gas, and water utilities. Also includes independent power producers, energy traders, and companies that generate and distribute electricity using renewable sources.

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