Arvest Education Center

The Dow Jones Industrial Average

The most often-quoted stock market indicator is the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). In 1896, Charles Dow averaged closing prices of 12 representative stocks and the DJIA was christened. Since then it has been expanded to include 30 familiar blue chip companies to be more representative of the country’s largest companies.

The calculation is also changed to reflect stock splits. While this index is not reflective of the entire stock market, watching changes in the DJIA can help you stay abreast of current conditions.

Original Dow Stocks

American Cotton OilLaclede Gas
American SugarNational Lead
American TobaccoNorth American
Chicago GasTennessee Coal & Iron
Distilling & Cattle FeedingU.S. Leather preferred
General ElectricU.S. Rubber

Current DJIA Stocks

3M CompanyIntel Corporation
Alcoa IncorporatedInternational Business Machines
American Express CompanyJ.P Morgan Chase & Company
AT&T IncorporatedJohnson & Johnson
Bank of America CorporationKraft Foods
Boeing CompanyMcDonald's Corporation
Caterpillar IncorporatedMerck & Company, Incorporated
Chevron CorporationMicrosoft Corporation
Cisco Systems, Inc.Pfizer Incorporated
Coca-Cola CompanyProctor & Gamble Company
DuPontTravelers Companies, Inc.
Exxon Mobil CorporationUnited Technologies Corporation
General Electric CompanyVerizon Communications Inc.
Hewlett-Packard CompanyWal-Mart Stores Incorporated
Home Depot IncorporatedWalt Disney Company

In February, 2008, Bank of America Corporation and Chevron Corporation replaced Altria Group Incorporated and Honeywell International, Incorporated. In September 2008, Kraft Foods replaced American International Group. In June, 2009, Travelers Companies, Inc. replaced Citigroup Incorporated and Cisco Systems, Inc. replaced General Motors Corporation.

The DJIA is the most well-known stock market indicator. However, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ indexes include a broader selection of stocks including smaller companies.

This content has been provided by Practical Money Skills and is intended to serve as a general guideline.