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Innovation pays off for index investing in IP — and beating S&P

The CNBC IQ 100 gained 6.8 percent in the first quarter, outpacing the S&P 500's 5.5 percent gain. CNBC's exclusive, rules-based index also notched a 1 percent gain in March, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 lost ground.

As part of its rules-based methodology, the index has been re-weighted for the second quarter. Microsoft will remain the highest-weighted company in the index for the second straight quarter. MCAM International, the firm whose proprietary algorithms power the CNBC IQ 100, executed the re-weighting for CNBC.

"Microsoft scores very well across multiple industry sectors, including intelligent cloud applications and management, mobile operating systems, industrial internet and connected devices, and hardware and software for distributed gaming systems," says MCAM managing director David Pratt.

The companies in the CNBC IQ 100 Index are weighted according to each one's ability to invest in, develop, control and deploy intellectual property to achieve strategic advantage over competitors. Companies with the highest weighting maintain this type of advantage across multiple industries. Pratt says Microsoft beat out its competitors in a total of 12 distinct business types, more than any other company in the index.

With the re-weighting, chipmaker Micron Technology moves from being the fourth-highest weighted company in the first quarter to being equally weighted with JPMorgan Chase and tied for the second-highest weight in the second quarter. Boeing and Dow Chemical will remain the other companies in the top 5.

The index is re-weighted quarterly, and components are rebalanced annually. Micron was one of 10 companies added to the index at the start of 2017, replacing Intel. Micron shares jumped 30 percent in the first quarter, the biggest gainer among the 100 stocks in the index. ExxonMobil was the index's biggest loser in the first quarter, with a decline of almost 9.5 percent.