S&P 500 index

America’s S&P 500 index is among the Western world’s most cyclical indices.

Economically sensitive industries comprise around 70% of the index. Technology is its largest sector, accounting for almost 18%, with Apple worth almost 5%. Financials, consumer services (retail, media and travel stocks), industrials and oil and gas are further cyclical sectors.

Consumer goods and healthcare are the top two defensive segments. These are followed by utilities, which comprise 3.9% of the index, and telecoms firms, worth 3.1%.

 

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31 March 1990: Central London trashed in anti-poll tax riots

On this day in 1990, a mass demonstration against Mrs Thatcher's controversial Poll Tax turned ugly when thousands went on the rampage in central London.