What is the Dow Jones? ✔ Definition and explanation for traders ✔ Trading options ✔ US market

Dow Jones simply explained – definition of the American stock index

The Dow Jones is the leading index for the US stock exchange in New York. It is sometimes seen as the leading index for the entire global stock market levels. The official name is Dow Jones Industrial Average, because several indices run under the term Dow Jones. The Dow Jones was first compiled as the Railroad Average by Charles Dow on July 3, 1884. Today, the index is published by the New York Stock Exchange and is an association of 30 large companies. However, it is not possible to speak of the thirty largest U.S. companies, since market capitalization is not the only criterion for inclusion. The Dow Jones had its previous all-time high in August 2021 at 35,631 points.

Dow Jones Definition

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tracks the value of 30 major U.S. companies. Unlike many other indexes around the world, however, public companies in the Dow Jones are not ranked based on their Market capitalization measured. There are no clear rules about moving up or down in the index, so history plays a bigger role The Dow Jones Industrial Average is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The publisher is the financial services group S&P Global. In addition to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, there are, for example, the Dow Jones Transportation Average, the Dow Jones Utility Average and the Dow Jones Composite Average. Each of these specializes in certain sectors of the economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a so-called price index. It has the WKN 969420 The term price index hides the detail that the dividends paid out are not included in the Dow Jones. This corresponds to the reality, since dividends do not remain in the enterprise value and should have no influence on the share prices. By trading as a price index, the Dow Jones is considered a good benchmark. It is possible to compare the performance of the index with other stock exchanges worldwide and thus measure the U.S. stock market. The Dow Jones is also traded under the name Dow Jones Industrial Average Total Return Index as a Performance index and under the name Dow Jones Industrial Average Net Total Return Index as a price plus net cash dividend. In common parlance, however, the term Dow Jones is understood to mean the price index The trading hours of the Dow Jones are 09:30 to 16:00 local time, which corresponds to 15:30 to 22:00 CET. In particularly volatile phases, trading on the NYSE is suspended according to certain rules. The decisive factor is the changes in the broad-based index S&P 500.


History of the Dow Jones

As early as 1884, the journalist and publisher of the Wall Street Journal Charles Dow developed the U.S. stock index Dow Jones Railroad Average, which is considered the predecessor of today’s Dow Jones Eleven stocks were listed, including nine railroad companies, a steamship company and a money transfer company. A clear picture of how the economically strongest companies were positioned at that time. By the end of the 19th century, the industrial landscape of the U.S. was fundamentally changing, so Charles Dow reformed his stock index. He included 12 companies that were supposed to reflect the economic strength of the USA. Today, none of the initial companies are listed. General Electric, the last stock from the original Dow Jones, was replaced in 2018. The new Dow Jones was calculated back to the year 1885. On a monthly basis, even back to 1789.

Over time, the Dow Jones was initially raised to 20 companies. In October 1928, the next adjustment followed to the current number of 30 companies. One year later, Black Thursday occurred, which became known in Europe as Black Friday. From an all-time high of 381.17 points, Black Thursday ushered in a Bear market at Dow Jones and a global economic crisis. Historians go in part go so far and put forward the thesis that this day was one of the triggers for the later Second World War. It would be 25 years before a new all-time high was reached on Nov. 23, 1954, after Black Thursday. In November 1972, the Dow Jones broke through the 1,000-point barrier for the first time at the closing price.

On October 19, 1987, the highest percentage loss occurred on Black Monday. a 25% loss in value on one day was a record. However, it took only 15 months for the Dow Jones to recover the loss of Black Monday. To protect it, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued Rule 80B in 1988, which provides for the suspension of trading in the event of particularly high volatility. The 1990s mark a boom for the Dow Jones. in 1995, the 5,000-point mark was surpassed, and in 1999, the 10,000-point mark. The bursting of the dotcom bubble did not hit the Dow Jones as hard as other stock markets around the world. a 37% drop in value was nevertheless a severe blow, but it was made up for within a few months. In 2007, at its previous high of 14,164 points, the Dow Jones experienced a long decline in connection with the international financial crisis. The end result was a loss of 53.8 percent. In the years that followed, the Dow Jones rose without pause Only the Covid19 pandemic in 2020 led to new setbacks. Starting from 29,551 points, the index fell by around twenty percent, but was immediately bought up again and stood at an all-time high of 35,631 points in August 2021.



How is the Dow Jones formed?

Unlike many other indices in the world, there are no clear rules for the formation of the Dow Jones. The index reflects thirty major U.S. companiesbut is not clearly based on a quantitative factor such as the market capitalization of the companies. Some of the listed stocks in the Dow Jones are included there only on the basis of their history. They are therefore relatively old companies with a long tradition. These are subject to lower fluctuations, which significantly distorts the picture of the Dow Jones and earns the index criticism. The Dow Jones is calculated solely on the basis of the share prices of the listed companies. Since there is no weighting according to Market capitalization takes place, shares with a higher value have a significantly stronger impact on the overall. The prices of the individual stocks are added up and divided by a divisor. The Dow divisor ensures that, ideally, no change is apparent when the listed shares are adjusted. Since 06/03/2021 the Dow divisor is 0.15188516925198. It is calculated by Barron’s, a magazine published by the Wall Street Journal.

The Dow Jones is composed of thirty companies coming from different industries. Information technology is the most represented with four companies. Followed by three banking houses and three pharmaceutical companies each. The oldest company in the Dow Jones is Procter & Gamblewhich has been listed since 1932. It is followed at a great distance by the conglomerate 3M, which was included in 1976. In terms of index weighting, the Dow Jones is a balanced index. United Health, as the largest company, takes up 7.97%. It is followed by Goldman Sachs with 6.92% and Home Depot with 6.10%. The smallest company is Walgreens Boots Alliance with 0.87% index weight. However, since the index value is not measured by weightings, the factor is rather negligible.


Where can I trade the Dow Jones?

The Dow Jones is an index, which means that an Investor cannot simply buy shares of a company if he wants to profit from a performance. For this reason, financial products that track the value of the Dow Jones must be used. For this purpose, for example, the so-called CFD are available. CFDs are traded via an appropriately specialized broker, such as XTB. With these brokers the investors enter into something like a bet, without actually buying shares or stocks. Rather, a Margin is deposited, which serves as the investor’s stake. If a trader wants to invest in the Dow Jones via CFD, he can precisely plan his shares, the direction and the Plan entries and exits. CFD are considered to be very transparent and good to trade.

ETFs offer another option for trading the Dow Jones. Equity funds take all the work from an investor and try to increase the money invested. We distinguish between ETFs that actually invest in stocks and those that do not. The former category is recommended, as it creates counter-values for the investor, which provide collateral in case of insolvency ETFs attempt to track the level of the Dow Jones as closely as possiblewhereby an investor can profit directly from the price levels, but can also lose. When comparing the different products to the Dow Jones, an investor should also find out what fees they will incur and how much demand there is for the funds. Both aspects that determine costs and the security.

A third method for investments in the Dow Jones provides warrants. These financial products are linked to a score in the Dow Jones. If the index subsequently moves in the right direction, the value of the warrants increases. The products usually have an expiration date. If the warrant is too far in the wrong direction near the expiration date, it loses significant value. Another option is the Knock-out bill. Instead of an expiration date, this has a knock-out threshold at the undercutting or exceeding of which the entire investment loses its value. It is therefore important to understand the functionality of the investment in detail before a possible total loss can occur.


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