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Sector Primer Series: Materials What are the ins and outs of the S&P 500’s smallest GICS sector?
BY Sherifa Issifu

The Global Industry Classification Standard® (GICS®) assigns a company to a single business classification according to its principal business activity. This assignment uses quantitative and qualitative factors, including revenues, earnings, and market perception. The sector is the first level of the four-tiered, hierarchical industry classification system that includes 11 sectors, 24 industry groups, 69 industries, and 158 sub-industries (see Exhibit 1).

Within the GICS framework, and as outlined in Exhibit 2, Materials companies include those that are primarily engaged in:

•  Producing and manufacturing chemical products, including industrial chemical products;

•  Manufacturing construction materials, containers, and packaging;

•  Mining metals and the production of related products; and

•  Manufacturing paper and forest products.

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