Dow Jones Industrial Average44:08

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Published on July 18, 2016

The Dow Jones Industrial Average

/ˌdaʊ ˈdʒoʊnz/, also called DJIA, the Industrial Average, the Dow Jones, the Dow Jones Industrial, ^DJI, the Dow 30 or simply the Dow, is a stock market index, and one of several indices created by Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & Company co-founder Charles Dow. The industrial average was first calculated on May 26, 1896. Currently owned by S&P Dow Jones Indices, which is majority owned by S&P Global, it is the most notable of the Dow Averages, of which the first (non-industrial) was first published on February 16, 1885. The averages are named after Dow and one of his business associates, statistician Edward Jones. It is an index that shows how 30 large publicly owned companies based in the United States have traded during a standard trading session in the stock market. It is the second oldest U.S. market index after the Dow Jones Transportation Average, which was also created by Dow.

The Industrial portion of the name is largely historical, as many of the modern 30 components have little or nothing to do with traditional heavy industry. The average is price-weighted, and to compensate for the effects of stock splits and other adjustments, it is currently a scaled average. The value of the Dow is not the actual average of the prices of its component stocks, but rather the sum of the component prices divided by a divisor, which changes whenever one of the component stocks has a stock split or stock dividend, so as to generate a consistent value for the index. Since the divisor is currently less than one, the value of the index is larger than the sum of the component prices. Although the Dow is compiled to gauge the performance of the industrial sector within the American economy, the index’s performance continues to be influenced by not only corporate and economic reports, but also by domestic and foreign political events such as war and terrorism, as well as by natural disasters that could potentially lead to economic harm.

In 1884, Charles Dow composed his first stock average, which contained nine railroads and two industrial companies that appeared in the Customer’s Afternoon Letter, a daily two-page financial news bulletin which was the precursor to The Wall Street Journal. On January 2, 1886, the number of stocks represented in what we now call the Dow Jones Transportation Average dropped from 14 to 12, as the Central Pacific Railroad and Central Railroad of New Jersey were dropped from that index. Though comprising the same number of stocks, this index contained only one of the original twelve industrials that would eventually form Dow’s most famous index.

Dow Jones Company

is an American publishing and financial information firm that has been owned by News Corp. since 2007.

The company was best known for the publication of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and related market statistics, Dow Jones Newswire and a number of financial publications. In 2010 the Dow Jones Indexes subsidiary was sold to the CME Group and the company focused on financial news publications, including its flagship publication The Wall Street Journal and providing financial news and information tools to financial companies.

The company was led by the Bancroft family, which held 64% of voting stock, from the 1920s until 2007 when an extended takeover battle saw News Corp take control of the company.

The company was founded in 1882 by three reporters: Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser.

Dow Jones was acquired in 1902 by Clarence Barron, the leading financial journalist of the day, after the death of co-founder Charles Dow. Upon Barron’s death in 1928, control of the company passed to his stepdaughters Jane and Martha Bancroft. The company was led by the Bancroft family, which effectively controlled 64% of all voting stock, until 2007 when an extended takeover battle saw News Corporation acquire the business.

The company became a subsidiary of News Corporation after an extended takeover bid during 2007. It was reported on August 1, 2007 that the bid had been successful after an extended period of uncertainty about shareholder agreement. The transaction was completed on December 13, 2007. It was worth US$5 billion or $60 a share, giving News Corp control of The Wall Street Journal and ending the Bancroft family’s 105 years of ownership.

In 2010, the company sold 90% of Dow Jones Indexes to the CME Group, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

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