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MarketScape · 07.01.24

Summer Index Rebalances: How They Work and Why They Matter

Rebalancing events help ensure benchmarks maintain exposure to companies within their targeted asset class or markets, but the rebalancing can also impact investment portfolios.

  • Equity
  • Portfolio Construction
  • Multi-asset
  • Index Fixed Income

Key Points

What it is

Between late May and the end of June, major index providers like S&P Dow Jones, MSCI, and FTSE Russell undertake significant rebalancing efforts.

Why it matters

These adjustments are vital in keeping market benchmarks accurate and are essential for informed investment strategies and portfolio management.

Where it's going

In the coming months, ongoing evaluations and adjustments will likely continue in response to the implications of these balances.

While summer activities take center stage, the financial markets are busy with key index . Between late May and the end of June, major index providers like S&P Dow Jones, MSCI, and FTSE Russell undertake significant rebalancing efforts. These events can potentially help  maintain exposure to companies within their targeted asset class or markets, but the rebalancing can also impact investment portfolios. Let’s take a closer look.


For many investors, an allocation to an index investment is an important part of their portfolio, such as an S&P 500 ETF, a Russell 2000 mutual fund, or an MSCI Emerging Markets Index fund. While index investing gives participants exposure to specific asset classes, many may not realize how often indexes change because it looks like a single, unchanging holding on a quarterly statement. Regular rebalances of these indexes are crucial for maintaining accurate exposures within benchmarks. S&P and MSCI rebalance quarterly, while the Russell index family makes most changes annually during the Russell Reconstitution in late June, involving stocks moving in and out of the various Russell indexes.


In this year’s Russell Reconstitution, 38 stocks moved into the Russell 1000 Large-Cap Index, with 27 migrating from the Russell 2000 Small-Cap Index. Conversely, 32 stocks left the Russell 1000, mostly moving into the Russell 2000. Additionally, the Russell 2000 Small-Cap Index saw 206 stocks added and 142 stocks deleted. These movements are designed to help FTSE Russell adjust their benchmarks to accurately reflect targeted exposures. Without regular rebalancing, indexes like the Russell 2000 could end up holding mid-cap, large-cap, and some micro-cap stocks and miss new small-cap stocks.


As benchmark providers update their indexes, asset managers responsible for managing , mutual funds, and other index funds must also adjust their holdings. Portfolio managers use their expertise to , a process that can involve significant trading. It’s estimated that asset managers executed trades valued at over $140 billion for the Russell Reconstitution. As a significant index investor ourselves, Northern Trust Asset Management manages these events and all upcoming index rebalancing events with our usual care and diligence.

Main Point

Unveiling the Impact of Summer Index Rebalances

Summer rebalances may enhance market resilience by aligning portfolios with current economic trends, offering potentially attractive investment opportunities.

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MSCI Index Rebalances: India Weighting Up, China Continues Slide

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Jake Weaver

Head of Equity Index Management

Jake Weaver is the head of equity index management for Northern Trust Asset Management, responsible for the global equity index and tax advantaged equity portfolio management teams. He is also the chair of the Northern Trust Proxy Committee and a member of the Asset Management Risk Committee and Sustainable Investment Council.

Read Bio

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