Now that another year has passed, below we provide updates of our charts and tables on historical S&P 500 sector weightings. The Technology sector ended the year with a 19% weight in the S&P 500, and that is where it stands now as well. The Financial sector, which saw its weight bounce significantly from the March 2009 low through the end of 2010, suffered a drop in weight from 16.1% to 13.4% in 2011. It has, however, bounced by 0.7 percentage points over the first two weeks of 2012 as Financial stocks have gotten off to a good start to the year.
Health Care, Consumer Staples and Utilities saw their S&P 500 sector weightings jump the most in 2011 as investors flocked to high dividend paying defensive names. Along with the Financial sector, Industrials and Materials are the only two other sectors that saw their weights in the S&P 500 drop in 2011. Interestingly, both Industrials and Materials have already gained back all of their 2011 weighting losses in the first two weeks of the year.
Below is a chart of the historical sector weightings shown in the table above that helps to visualize the changes we've seen over the past 20+ years.
Finally, below we provide historical S&P 500 weighting charts for each sector going back to 1990. The red line in each chart is the average weighting the sector has seen over the entire time period. Technology and Energy are the only two sectors that are currently well above their long-term averages. Financials, Industrials, Consumer Discretionary, Materials and Telecom are all below their long-term averages, while Health Care, Consumer Staples and Utilities are currently right inline with their averages.