The Consumer Discretionary Sector encompasses those industries that tend to be the most sensitive to economic cycles. Its manufacturing segment includes automotive, household durable goods, textiles & apparel and leisure equipment. 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 whose businesses are dominated by either of the following activities: The construction or provision of oil rigs, drilling equipment and other energy related service and equipment, including seismic data collection. Companies engaged in the exploration, production, marketing, refining and/or transportation of oil and gas products, coal and other consumable fuels.
The Financial Sector contains companies involved in activities such as banking, mortgage finance, consumer finance, specialized finance, investment banking and brokerage, asset management and custody, corporate lending, insurance, financial investment, real estate investment trusts (REITs), as well as companies engaged in real estate management & development.
The Health Care Sector encompasses two main industry groups. The first includes companies who manufacture health care equipment and supplies or provide health care related services, including distributors of health care products, providers of basic health-care services, and owners and operators of health care facilities and organizations. The second regroups companies primarily involved in the research, development, production and marketing of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology products.
The Industrials Sector includes companies whose businesses are dominated by one of the following activities: The manufacture and distribution of capital goods, including aerospace & defense, construction, engineering & building products, electrical equipment and industrial machinery. The provision of commercial services and supplies, including printing, employment, environmental and office services. The provision of transportation services, including airlines, couriers, marine, road & rail and transportation infrastructure.
The Information Technology Sector covers the following general areas: firstly, Technology Software & Services, including companies that primarily develop software in various fields such as the Internet, applications, systems, databases management and/or home entertainment, and companies that provide information technology consulting and services, as well as data processing and outsourced services; secondly Technology Hardware & Equipment, including manufacturers and distributors of communications equipment, computers & peripherals, electronic equipment and related instruments; and thirdly, Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturers.
The Materials Sector encompasses a wide range of commodity-related manufacturing industries. Included in this sector are companies that manufacture chemicals, construction materials, glass, paper, forest products and related packaging products, and metals, minerals and mining companies, including producers of steel.