S&P

S&P 500 Index Changes in March

S&P

Recently, we took a not-so-serious look at the prospects for front-running additions to the S&P 500 to exploit the "index effect," where demand can push up a stock's price when it enters an index. This time, let's take a look back and see what happened to the index in March.

Standard & Poor's (S&P) announced three additions to the S&P 500 in March. Not surprisingly, technology experienced the biggest decline of any sector for the month, losing 1.29%.

S&P 500 Sector Weightings
Sector End of March End of February Weight change
Financials
17.64%
17.20%
0.44%
Utilities
4.26%
3.90%
0.36%
Energy
6.83%
6.50%
0.33%
Consumer Cyclicals
8.63%
8.30%
0.33%
Consumer Staples
12.92%
12.80%
0.12%
Health Care
13.41%
13.30%
0.11%
Transportation
0.76%
0.70%
0.06%
Basic Materials
2.52%
2.50%
0.02%
Communication Services
6.12%
6.10%
0.02%
Capital Goods
8.71%
9.20%
-0.49%
Technology
18.21%
19.50%
-1.29%

Source: Merrill Lynch Equity Derivatives Strategy Department

For good measure, let's check out what happened in S&P's mid- and small-cap indexes.

Four companies were added to the S&P MidCap 400 index last month.

S&P MidCap 400 Sector Weightings
Sector End of March End of February Weight change
Financials
16.96%
15.27%
1.69%
Utilities
8.75%
7.56%
1.19%
Basic Materials
4.24%
4.03%
0.21%
Capital Goods
6.83%
6.63%
0.20%
Consumer Staples
8.10%
7.98%
0.12%
Energy
7.51%
7.43%
0.08%
Transportation
2.07%
2.04%
0.03%
Communication Services
1.48%
1.47%
0.01%
Health Care
11.06%
11.21%
-0.15%
Consumer Cyclicals
14.87%
15.14%
-0.27%
Technology
18.11%
21.23%
-3.12%

Source: Merrill Lynch Equity Derivatives Strategy Department

Twelve companies were added to the S&P SmallCap 600 index. Again, technology experienced the biggest decline of any sector in March. Unlike the two indexes examined above, however, technology is not the most heavily weighted sector in the SmallCap 600.

S&P SmallCap 600 Sector Weightings
Sector End of March End of February Weight change
Energy
7.65%
6.80%
0.85%
Consumer Cyclicals
19.44%
18.99%
0.45%
Utilities
4.49%
4.14%
0.35%
Consumer Staples
10.03%
9.74%
0.29%
Health Care
11.41%
11.20%
0.21%
Basic Materials
4.55%
4.44%
0.11%
Communication Services
0.22%
0.20%
0.02%
Transportation
2.82%
2.83%
-0.01%
Financials
11.64%
12.11%
-0.47%
Capital Goods
12.51%
13.04%
-0.53%
Technology
15.23%
16.50%
-1.27%

Source: Merrill Lynch Equity Derivatives Strategy Department