The S&P 500 ETF (SPY) Then And Now
Mon, Oct 29, 4:25 PM ET, by Michael Johnston
The S&P 500 is one of the most widely-followed benchmarks in the world, serving as a barometer not only for the U.S. economy but for global markets. It’s been almost 20 years since the first S&P 500 ETF debuted; (SPY, A) started trading in early 1993.
With the 20th birthday coming in January 2013, we take a look back at the evolution of one of the best-known indexes over the past two decades. While some of the names remain the same, many components of the S&P 500 have undergone radical changes since the first ETF debuted. We’ll start a full decade before the launch of SPY in 1983, before IBM and AT&T shortened their names, the Sears Tower was still Sears headquarters, and cameras were apparently big business [for year-by-year profiles, sign up for the free ETFdb newsletter].
1983: Oil Is King
In 1983 oil companies were thriving, with several energy components represented in the top 10 of the S&P 500. Exxon Mobil, of course, continues to be a major player in the oil and gas industry; several other components have evolved into new entities.
IBM was the most valuable U.S. stock in 1983 with a market capitalization of nearly $75 billion — which made it more than twice as valuable as the #2 company on the list. The computer maker isn’t the only holdover from the 1980s that still makes up a big chunk of the S&P; GE and Exxon have also shown staying power, and continue to be among the most valuable companies in the world.
Largest Component: International Business Machines (IBM, $74.3 billion)
Top 10 Market Cap: $241.2 billion
Newcomers: Sears Roebuck and duPont were new to the top 10 in 1993, replacing Shell Oil and Standard Oil of California from the year before.
Whatever Happened To: Standard Oil of Indiana. Also known as Stanolind, Standard Oil of Indiana was the 6th largest component of the S&P 500 in 1993. The company was later renamed Amoco, and is now a part of BP.
Complete Top 10: The ten largest U.S. companies in 1983 were:
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Next — 1984: Even More Oil >>>
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