Tech & healthcare tighten grip on world stock markets

LONDON (Reuters) – The technology and healthcare sectors have tightened their grip on global stock markets since the coronavirus shock knocked world shares from February’s record highs.

While banks, airlines and oil majors have been dumped by investors and the value of their shares has plummeted, sectors including the likes of pharma giant Roche (ROG.S) and the U.S. tech heavyweights now account for 42.8% of world stocks – more than twice that of energy and financial shares.

Healthcare and technology stocks globally have been resilient to the ongoing virus shock, with investors pumping $4.9 billion into those sectors in the last week, according to BofA Research.

Facebook (FB.O), Apple (AAPL.O), Amazon (AMZN.O), Alphabet (GOOGL.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O) weigh a whopping 8.7% of global equity markets.

Graphic – Tech and Healthcare: here

Never before has the overall weight of the top five S&P 500 .SPX stocks been as high as now, with these five companies making up more than 20% of the index’s 500 constituents.

Graphic – Top 5 stocks in S&P 500: here

The Nasdaq, home to some of the biggest U.S. tech names, is now worth about twice as much as all Asian shares excluding Japan.

Graphic – Nasdaq: here

Part of the explanation of why healthcare and tech stocks’ are ruling supreme over trading floors is their resilience during the COVID-19 crisis.

World Healthcare stocks are down only 4.8% from their February highs while the tech sector, down 15%, has outperformed the 19.5% loss of the broader market.

Graphic – Health and stock resilient: here