A Comparison of S&P 500 and S&P/TSX Composite Indices

The S&P 500 Index is the best representation of large cap U.S. companies. The index was first published in 1957  and the components in the index capture 75% coverage of all U.S. stocks. The S&P 500 is the widely followed barometer of the U.S. equity markets.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index is the benchmark index of the Canadian equity market.This index provides coverage for 95% of the Canadian market.A total of 239 companies are in the index.

The following charts show the composition of the indices:

1) S&P 500 Index (as of May 31, 2013):

Click to enlarge


2) S&P/TSX Composite Index (as of October 31, 2011):


The Top 10 Constituents of S&P 500 Index:

1Apple Inc.AAPLInformation Technology
2Exxon Mobil CorpXOMEnergy
3Microsoft CorpMSFTInformation Technology
4General Electric CoGEIndustrials
5Chevron CorpCVXEnergy
6Johnson & JohnsonJNJHealth Care
7Google IncGOOGInformation Technology
8International Business Machines CorpIBMInformation Technology
9Procter & GamblePGConsumer Staples
10JP Morgan Chase & CoJPMFinancials

The Top 10 Constituents of S&P/TSX Composite Index:

1Royal Bank of CanadaRYFinancials
2Toronto-Dominion BankTDFinancials
3Bank of Nova Scotia HalifaxBNSFinancials
4Suncor Energy IncSUEnergy
5Canadian National RailwaysCNIIndustrials
6Barrick Gold CorpABXMaterials
7Bank of MontrealBMOFinancials
8Potash Corp of SaskatchewanPOTMaterials
9Canadian Natural ResourcesCNQEnergy
10BCE IncBCETelecommunication Services


Source: Standard & Poor’s

As a resource-based economy, Canada’s benchmark index is concentrated with financials, energy and materials. These three sectors account for about 79% of the index with energy and materials alone having a weightage of about 50%. In the S&P 500, financials account for about 17% while materials and energy make up less than 15% of the index.

Among the top 10 constituents, the TSX Composite is dominated by companies in the above three sectors with the exception of one firm (Canadian National) from the industrial sector. In the S&P 500, just two companies from the energy sector are in the top 10. The presence of four IT firms shows the importance of the industry for the U.S. economy.

Related ETFs:

  • SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY)
  • iShares MSCI Canada Index (EWC)

Disclosure: Long BMO, BNS, CNI, TD and RY

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