Standard and Poors 500 Law and Legal Definition

Standard & Poor's 500 is a value-weighted index of 500 major U.S. corporations. There are 400 industrial firms, 20 transportation firms, 40 utilities, and 40 financial firms. Standard & Poor's is one of the world's foremost providers of independent credit ratings, indices, risk evaluation, investment research, data and valuations.

Standard & Poor's creates standards for the financial industry, including ratings, among others, for the following:

* Securitized financings

* Bond insured transactions

* Letters of credit

* The financial strength of non-U.S. insurance companies

* Bank holding companies

* Financial guaranty companies

Some of their other offerings include:

    * Index tracking systems

    * Exchange Traded Funds

    * A database standardizing information on publicly-traded companies, enabling financial professionals to readily make comparisons across categories

    * A series of web-based services that support analytical, planning, and investment professionals globally.