Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, often referred to simply as the Dow Jones or the Dow, is one of the most well-known stock market indices in the world. It was created by Charles Dow and Edward Jones and was first published on May 26, 1896. The index is maintained by S&P Dow Jones Indices, a division of S&P Global.

The Dow Jones is designed to provide a snapshot of the overall performance of the 30 largest and most influential publicly traded companies in the United States. These companies are considered leaders in their respective industries and are chosen by the editors of The Wall Street Journal, which is also owned by Dow Jones & Company.

Originally, the Dow Jones only included industrial companies, hence its name “Industrial Average,” but over the years, the composition has evolved to include companies from various sectors, such as technology, finance, healthcare, and consumer goods. This diversification aims to represent the broader U.S. economy.

The value of the Dow Jones is calculated using a price-weighted methodology. This means that the index’s value is not based on the market capitalization of its constituent companies but rather on their stock prices. Therefore, higher-priced stocks have a more significant impact on the index’s movements than lower-priced ones.

The Dow Jones is often used as a gauge of the overall health and sentiment of the U.S. stock market and, to some extent, the global economy. Investors, analysts, and the media closely monitor the daily fluctuations of the Dow as an indicator of the market’s performance.

Companies in the index

Symbol Company Exchange Industry Index weighting
MMM 3M NYSE Conglomerate 2.41%
AXP American Express NYSE Financial services 3.02%
AMGN Amgen NASDAQ Biopharmaceutical 5.48%
AAPL Apple NASDAQ Information technology 2.84%
BA Boeing NYSE Aerospace and defense 3.36%
CAT Caterpillar NYSE Construction and mining 4.52%
CVX Chevron NYSE Petroleum industry 3.50%
CSCO Cisco NASDAQ Information technology 0.96%
KO Coca-Cola NYSE Beverages 1.22%
DIS Disney NYSE Broadcasting and entertainment 1.89%
DOW Dow NYSE Chemical industry 0.98%
GS Goldman Sachs NYSE Financial services 7.36%
HD Home Depot NYSE Home Improvement 6.27%
HON Honeywell NASDAQ Conglomerate 4.17%
IBM IBM NYSE Information technology 2.86%
INTC Intel NASDAQ Semiconductor industry 0.57%
JNJ Johnson & Johnson NYSE Pharmaceutical industry 3.43%
JPM JPMorgan Chase NYSE Financial services 2.61%
MCD McDonald’s NYSE Food industry 5.24%
MRK Merck NYSE Pharmaceutical industry 2.10%
MSFT Microsoft NASDAQ Information technology 4.88%
NKE Nike NYSE Clothing industry 2.13%
PG Procter & Gamble NYSE Fast-moving consumer goods 2.86%
CRM Salesforce NYSE Information technology 2.82%
TRV Travelers NYSE Insurance 3.62%
UNH UnitedHealth Group NYSE Managed health care 10.29%
VZ Verizon NYSE Telecommunications industry 0.73%
V Visa NYSE Financial services 4.16%
WBA Walgreens Boots Alliance NASDAQ Retailing 0.79%
WMT Walmart NYSE Retailing 2.94%

The components of the DJIA have changed 57 times since its beginning on May 26, 1896. General Electric had the longest continuous presence on the index, beginning in the original index in 1896 and ending in 2018.


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