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Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is one of several stock market indices created by Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & Company founder Charles Dow. Dow compiled the DJIA index as a way to gauge the performance of the industrial component of America's stock markets.

In 1884, the DJIA represented the average of twelve stocks representing various important American industrial businesses. In 1916, the number of stocks in the DJIA was increased to twenty, and finally to thirty in 1928. On the day it was created, the value of the DJIA was 100.

On March 29, 1999 the average closed at 10006.78 which was the first time the index closed above the 10,000 mark and on January 14, 2000 the average closed at an the all-time peak of 11723. By mid-2002, it had returned to its 1998 level of 8000. On June 4, 2003, the average closed above 9000 for the first time since August 22, 2002.

Many people criticize the DJIA because it is a price-weighted average[?], which gives relatively higher-priced stocks more influence over the average than their lower-priced counterparts. This can produce misleading results, as a $1 increase in a lower-priced stock can be cancelled out by a $1 decrease in a much higher-priced stock, even though the first stock may have experienced a significantly larger percentage change. Additionally, the inclusion of only 30 stocks in the average has brought on additional criticism of the average, as the DJIA is widely used as an indicator of overall market performance. Because of these issues, the S&P 500 is becoming more widely quoted and used as a more realistic broad market performance indicator.

The individual components of the DJIA change from time to time. Of the original twelve stocks on the 1884 average, only General Electric remains.

As of January 2003, the Dow Jones Industrial Average consists of the following 30 companies:

See also Dowism, NYSE

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