S&P 500 Index

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About Standard & Poor 500 Index

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SPX – S&P 500 Index

The Standard & Poor’s 500, often abbreviated as the S&P 500, is a stock market index based on the common stock prices of 500 top publicly traded American companies. It is one of the most commonly followed indices and many consider it the best representation of the market in the U.S. economy. It differs from other U.S. stock market indices because of its diverse constituency and weighting methodology.

The S&P 500 tracks the market capitalization of the companies in its index. Market capitalization, or market cap, is the total value of all shares of stock a company has issued. It’s calculated by multiplying the number of shares issued by the stock price. The S&P 500 captures 80 percent of the total market cap of the entire stock market.

To be included in the S&P 500, a company must be located in the United States and have a market cap of at least $5.3 billion. Its stock price must be at least $1 per share. At least 50 percent of the corporation’s stock must be offered to the public. Finally, it must have at least four consecutive quarters of positive earnings. The S&P 500 also includes Real Estate Investment Trusts and business development companies.