""Standard & Poor's"":http://www.standardandpoors.com/home/en/us is enhancing its index offerings, announcing the release of five new Select Industry Indices. S&P's additions are aimed at evaluating the performance of specific sub-industries within the ""Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS)"":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Industry_Classification_Standard.[IMAGE]
The five new indices from S&P include the Banks Select Industry Index, Capital Markets Select Industry Index, Insurance Select Industry Index, Mortgage Finance Select Industry Index, and the Regional Banks Select Industry Index. Additionally, a sixth index is on the way from S&P; the Software & Services Select Industry Index is expected to launch in late September.
The Mortgage Finance Select Industry Index will primarily include constituents from the thrifts and mortgage financial sector. The new mortgage banking-focused index will also cover a handful of insurance companies and homebuilders.
Targeting entities in the commercial banking sector, the Banks Select Industry Index will include companies with an outstanding market capitalization of at least $2 billion, and the Capital Markets Select Industry Index will draw constituents from around the capital markets industry such as asset managers, investment banks, and brokers. The Insurance Select Industry Index will cover participants in life, health, property, and casualty insurers, along with insurance brokers, and the Regional Banks Select Industry Index will encompass the regional banks sub-industry.
Prior to the debut of its new products, S&P's index series included 25 indices within 10 GICS sectors. Craig Lazzara, vice president of U.S. equity indices for S&P commented on the offerings, saying, ""Investors are increasingly looking for greater diversification options within their investment portfolios with a growing focus on targeted, industry exposure.""
Its estimated that S&P's indices cover nearly $1.25 trillion in assets around the globe, and the company's S&P 500 represents the world's most followed stock market index. Among mortgage-related companies, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are considered the key measure for home pricing in the U.S.