Dow Jones stock market indices, and in particular the long-lived Dow Jones Industrial Average, are among the more influential indexes used to track the performance of the American stock market. In addition to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, influential Dow Jones stock market indices include the Dow Jones Transportation Average and the Dow Jones Utility Average. Together, all of the companies on three indices form the Dow Jones Composite Average.
Formerly, the Dow Jones company was an independent financial media company which produced the Wall Street Journal as well as its major stock market indices. However, in 2007 Dow Jones was acquired by, and is now a subsidiary of, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. The index business itself was then subsequently sold to CME.
– Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) –
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is the best-known Dow Jones stock market index and is intended as an indicator of the general performance of the leading companies in America. It was created in 1896, although of the original twelve Dow Jones companies, only General Electric survives under its original name and remains on the index. As of July 2010, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is climbing past 10,000, although it broke over 14,000 prior to the recession and then fell below 7,000 at its lowest point in early 2009.
The number of companies on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, as well as the specific focus, has changed over time (see the Transportation Average below for more information). However, in its current manifestation, the Dow Jones Industrial Average consists of thirty companies. These now include 3M (MMM), Alcoa (AA), American Express (AXP), AT&T (T), Bank of America (BAC), Boeing (BA), Caterpillar (CAT), Chevron (CVX), Cisco (CSCO), Coca-Cola (KO), DuPont (DD), ExxonMobil (XOM), General Electric (GE), Hewlett Packard (HPQ), Home Depot (HD), Intel (INTC), IBM (IBM), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Kraft Foods (KFT), McDonald’s (MCD), Merck (MRK), Microsoft (MSFT), Pfizer (PFE), Proctor & Gamble (PG), Travelers (TRV), United Technologies (UTX), Verizon (VZ), Wal-Mart (WMT), and Walt Disney (DIS).
– Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJT) –
The Dow Jones Transportation Average is an index which tracks the performance of the transportation sector, currently including air, land and sea transport companies, including popular courier services. It is the oldest surviving stock index, having been created in the 1880s (at which point it was principally a railway industry index). As of July 2010, the Dow Jones Transportation Average sits at about 4450, having nearly doubled from the lowest point reached in early 2009 during the most recent recession (although it is still well below its last peak period, in 2007 and 2008).
There are twenty companies on the Dow Jones Transportation Average. Currently, these companies include Alexander & Baldwin (ALEX), AMR (AMR), C.H. Robinson Worldwide (CHRW), Con-Way (CNW), Continental Airlines (CAL), CSX (CSX), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Expeditors International (EXPD), FedEx (FDX), GATX (GMT), JB Hunt Transport (JBHT), JetBlue (JBLU), Kansas City Southern (KSU), Landstar (LSTR), Norfolk Southern (NSC), Overseas Shipholding (OSG), Ryder (R), Southwest Airlines (LUV), Union Pacific (UNP), and UPS (UPS).
– Dow Jones Utility Average (DJU) –
The Dow Jones Utility Average is an index which tracks the performance of the public utility sector – or, more specifically, the electrical power industry. The Dow Jones Utility Average was created when Dow Jones eliminated utility companies from the Industrial Average in the 1920s. As of July 2010, the average lies just under 390, a modest increase from the trough reached during the 2008-2009 recession.
There are fifteen companies on the Dow Jones Utility Average. Currently the average includes AES (AES), American Electric Power (AEP), CenterPoint Energy (CNP), Consolidated Edison (ED), Dominion Resources (D), Duke (DUK), Edison International (EIX), Exelon (EXC), FirstEnergy (FE), NextEra Energy (NEE), NiSource (NI), Pacific Gas & Electric (PCG; commonly known as PG&E), Public Service Enterprise (PEG), Southern (SO), and Williams (WMB).
– Other Dow Jones Stock Market Indices –
The Dow Jones company also maintains and publishes a number of other stock market indices, which are less influential and less well-known than the major averages above. One of these, the Dow Jones Composite Average, is simply a combination of the companies held on the three averages above.
Other relatively recently created Dow Jones stock market indices include the 150-stock Global Dow, an index of American and international companies; and the Sustainability Index, which tracks companies with proven records for environmentally sustainable business practices.