The Dow Jones indices - Statistics & Facts

The Dow Jones indices, published by the joint venture company S&P Dow Jones Indices, are one of most popular indicators of the conditions prevailing on the global stock markets. Especially the Dow Jones Industrial Average index (DJIA) is one of the most important and widely traced indices in the world. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, often shortened to ‘the Dow’, is the second oldest market index in the United States. It was founded in early 1885 by Wall Street Journal editor and businessman Charles Dow. It is a weighted index of the market price of the thirty largest publicly-traded companies on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

As far as the annual index performance since 1986 is concerned, the Dow recorded the highest year-end value in 2019. Since the dip during the 2008 financial crisis, the index performance has steadily improved every year, expect 2015 when a slight decrease could be observed. The monthly index had been performing well since 2017, but hit a snag at the start of 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. As of December 2019, the leading stocks of the DJIA index in terms of performance were UnitedHealth Group, Apple and Caterpillar. The Dow stock whose price lost most in value in the fourth quarter of 2019 was Boeing. The share price of this multinational conglomerate decreased by 12.4 percent. The best day of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 1897 was October 6th, 1931, when the index value increased by 14.87 percent within one day.

In addition to the headline index, the Dow tracks other stock groups. The Dow Jones Composite Index is composed of 65 leading U.S. companies: 30 stocks forming the Dow Jones Industrial Average index, 20 stocks from the Dow Jones Transportation index and 15 stocks from the Dow Jones Utility Average index. Each of these gives analysts a better view of each segment of the market, helping them understand how the entire economy is progressing. Other indices, such as the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, follow criteria such as environmental sustainability or social matters. Such an index helps investors support the causes about which they care.

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The Dow Jones indices

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