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Index Construction Matters: The S&P SmallCap 600

November 11, 2022 | S&P Dow Jones Indices

Launched in 1994, the S&P 600 is designed to track the performance of small-cap U.S. equities and has outperformed the Russell 2000 by an average of 1.6% per year over the past 25 years. This outperformance highlights the importance of index construction. Unlike the Russell 2000, the S&P 600 uses an earnings screen—companies must have a track record of positive earnings before they are eligible to be added to the index. This quality factor exposure has played a significant role in explaining the S&P 600’s relative returns and its status as a harder benchmark for active managers to beat.

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