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Charted: S&P 500 Sector Performance in 2023

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See this visualization first on the Voronoi app.

A bar chart showing the annual return of various S&P 500 sectors in 2023.

Charted: S&P 500 Sector Performance in 2023

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While the Santa Clause rally of 2023 ultimately ended up fizzling out, the year was still an excellent one for U.S. equities. All three major indices ended December on a positive note, reversing the trend in 2022.

But thematically speaking, which parts of the market did well, and which ones felt the pressure?

We visualize the 2023 performance of individual S&P 500 sectors using data from S&P Global which uses their GICS methodology to differentiate sectors on the index.

Ranked: S&P 500 Sectors by 2023 Return

Information Technology, Communication Services, and Consumer Discretionary were the three biggest winners in 2023, all of them up more than 40% for the year.

Here’s a detailed look at how they all did in 2023.

RankS&P Sector2023 Return
1Information Technology+56.4%
2Communication Services+54.4%
3Consumer Discretionary+40.3%
4Industrials+16.0%
5Materials+10.2%
6Financials+9.9%
7Real Estate+8.3%
8Health Care+0.3%
9Consumer Staples-2.3%
10Energy-4.8%
11Utilities-10.4%

Note: Data as of December 29, 2023.

Information Technology enjoyed a substantial rally thanks to the AI craze, with stocks like NVIDIA and AMD seeing triple-digit gains.

Other tech bastions, Apple and Microsoft, both with the biggest weights in the index, also gained more than 50% for the year.

Meanwhile, top performers in Communication Services, Meta (+188%), Netflix (+63%), and Alphabet (57%) helped the sector nearly tie for first place.

From a dismal 2022 in particular, Netflix’s crackdown on password-sharing (which led to subscriber growth) and its ad-tier revenue growth has made the streaming service the one to beat in the space—especially since its competitors are still losing money.

Within Consumer Discretionary, big gains by index-heavyweights Amazon and Tesla cemented the sector solidly in third place. Travel companies like Royal Caribbean Cruises, Carnival, and Booking Holdings also saw strong returns.

On the other hand, Consumer Staples, Energy, and Utilities all closed with losses, with the latter suffering from a confluence of factors: dwindling recession fears, high treasury yields, and now-increasing concerns over wildfire exposure.

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