Stock Market Indices

In financial markets, the most significant news are usually the moving of stock market indices. There are hundreds of them across all asset classes.

We focus on the most important Indices for stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is probably the best-known and most widely followed financial index in the world. It consists of 30 of the largest publicly traded firms in the United States. All 30 companies are selected by the editors of the Wall Street Journal.

Currently, the following 30 companies are Members of the Dow Jones:

dow jones

Company Ticker Symbol
American Express (NYSE:AXP)
Boeing (NYSE:BA)
Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT)
Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO)
Chevron (NYSE:CVX)
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO)
DuPont (NYSE:DD)
ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM)
General Electric (NYSE:GE)
Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS)
Home Depot (NYSE:HD)
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM)
McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD)
3M Company (NYSE:MMM)
Merck (NYSE:MRK)
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)
The Travelers (NYSE:TRV)
UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH)
United Technologies (NYSE:UTX)
Visa (NYSE:V)
Verizon (NYSE:VZ)
Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT)
Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS)

Other important US-stockmarket indices are:

S&P 500 – stock market index containing the stocks of 500 Large-Cap corporations. Comprises over 70% of the total market cap of all stocks traded in the US Exchange.

NASDAQ Composite – index of all of the common stocks and traded on the NASDAQ stock market.

Russell 3000 – measures the performance of 3000 U.S. companies representing 98% of the U.S. equity market.


European stock market indices:

STOXX 50 –  Europe’s Blue-chip index covers 50 leading stocks and contains:

17 from the UK: Astra Zeneca, Diageo, Lloyds Bank, BP, Barclays Bank, Prudential, Reckitt, British Telecom, British Gas, Natural Grid, Imperial Tobacco, HSBC, BAT, Rio Tinto, GSK, Vodafone, Unilever UK

8 from Germany: SAP, Bayer, Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Bank, Allianz, Daimler, BASF, Siemens

7 from France: BNP Paribas, AXA, Total, Sanofi, LVMH, Air Liquide, Schneider Electric

2 from Italy: Intesa SanPaolo, ENI

3 from Spain: Telefonica, Banco Bilbao VA, Banco Santander

3 from the Netherlands; Unilever NL, ING, Royal Dutch Shell

1 from Danmark; Novo Nordisk

1 from Belgium: InBev

8 from Switzerland: Nestle, Novartis, UBS, ABB, Richemont, Roche, Zurich Insurance, Credit Suisse

Eurozone: The second big pan-european index is the Eurostoxx 50 who contains the 50 biggest stock of the Eurozone

Other important indices  covering single european countries:

France -CAC 40 – contains 40 stocks selected among the top 100 market capitalisation and the most active stocks listed on Euronext Paris.

Germany–  DAX – measures the performance of the Prime Standard’s 30 largest German companies in terms of order book volume and market capitalization.

Italy – S&P/MIB Index – capitalization weighted index developed by S&P and Borsa Italiana.

Netherlands – AEX Index – index of Euronext Amsterdam, consists of the 25 most active securities in the Netherlands.

Russia – MICEX Index – capital-weighted price index of the 30 major and most liquid Russian stocks traded at the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange.

Spain – IBEX 35

Sweden -OMX Stockholm 30 Index

Switzerland -Swiss Market Index (SMI) – includes the twenty largest and most liquid SPI stocks; represents about 85% of the free- float market capitalization of the Swiss equity market.

United Kingdom -FTSE 100 Index (Financial Times Stock Exchange Index) – capitalization-weighted index of the 100 most highly capitalized companies traded on the London Stock Exchange

Important stock market indices in Asia

Japan – Nikkei 225 – stock market index for the Tokyo

China – SSE Composite – index of all listed stocks (A shares and B shares) at Shanghai

South Korea -KOSPI – index of all common shares on the Korean Stock Exchanges in

Singapore -Straight Times Index

Hong Kong -Hang Seng Indexes – record daily changes of the largest companies of the Hong Kong stock market (represent about 67% of capitalization of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange).

India -BSE SENSEX 30 – includes the 30 largest and most actively traded stocks on the Mumbai Stock Exchange.

Important indices in Latin America

Argentina -MERVAL – index of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange.

Brazil -Bovespa Index – index of about 50 stocks that are traded on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange.

Mexico – Indice de Precios y Cotizaciones (IPC) – index of 35 stocks traded on the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores
The table of Dow Jones components used in this chapter should get the following footnote: ‘source: The Motley Fool’

(which is, by the way, a quite good site for investors in my opinion)


In next chapter we will explore how indices are calculated and find out why the Dow Jones is really something special –

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