30 stocks of Dow Jones: History, Present and Facts

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), Dow Jones, or simply the Dow, is a stock market index of 30 prominent companies listed on stock exchanges in the United States.

The DJIA is one of the oldest and most commonly followed equity indexes. Many professionals consider it to be an inadequate representation of the overall U.S. stock market compared to a broader market index such as the S&P 500. The DJIA includes only 30 large companies. It is price-weighted, unlike stock indices, which use market capitalization. Furthermore, the DJIA does not use a weighted arithmetic mean.

History of Dow Jones

1. Origin and Inception (1896)

In the late 19th century, the burgeoning American economy needed a reliable measure of its industrial prowess. Enter Charles Dow, a visionary financier, and his partner Edward Jones. On May 26, 1896, they unveiled the Dow Jones Industrial Average, comprising a modest 12 companies, predominantly from the industrial sector. Among them were industrial titans like General Electric and U.S. Leather. Little did they know that this humble beginning would mark the birth of one of the world’s most influential stock market indices.

2. Expansion and Evolution (Early 20th Century)

As the U.S. economy grew, so did the Dow. Reflecting the nation’s economic diversity, the index expanded to include 20 companies in 1916 and then to 30 in 1928, a number that remains constant to this day. This expansion mirrored the changing face of American industry, incorporating sectors beyond the traditional industrial base. The selection criteria evolved, adapting to the shifting landscape, and today, the Dow represents a broader spectrum of the economy, including technology, finance, and healthcare.

3. Market Milestones

The Dow has been a silent witness to the tumultuous journey of the American economy. It stood resilient during the optimism of the Roaring Twenties but also weathered the storm of the Great Crash in 1929, which plunged the world into the depths of the Great Depression. On July 8, 1932, the Dow hit its lowest point, embodying the severity of the economic downturn. However, it also marked moments of triumph, such as breaking the 1,000-point barrier in 1972, signifying the nation’s economic resurgence.

4. Technological Advancements

The advent of technology revolutionized how the Dow Jones Industrial Average operated. With the rise of electronic trading, the calculation and dissemination of the index became instantaneous. In the modern era, real-time updates are available on financial platforms worldwide, enabling investors to make split-second decisions. This accessibility transformed the Dow into a dynamic and responsive indicator of market sentiment.

5. Global Recognition

Beyond American shores, the Dow garnered international acclaim as a reliable barometer not just for the U.S. stock market, but also for the broader American economy. International media, analysts, and investors routinely turn to the Dow for insights into market trends. Its movements are interpreted as signals, shaping global investment strategies and policies.

6. Modern Relevance

In today’s fast-paced financial landscape, the Dow Jones Industrial Average remains a beacon of stability. Its daily fluctuations are scrutinized by financial experts, economists, and policymakers alike. The Dow’s movements offer critical insights, serving as a lens through which the health of the U.S. economy is viewed. Its influence extends globally, guiding investment decisions across continents and reaffirming its enduring significance in the ever-evolving world of finance.

In essence, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is more than just a collection of numbers; it is a historical artifact, a testament to the resilience of the American economy, and a trusted guide for investors navigating the complexities of global markets.

Lesser known facts about Dow Jones

dow jones

Certainly! The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has a rich history and several interesting facts associated with it. Here are some fun facts about the Dow Jones:

1. Named After Journalists

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is named after Charles Dow, the co-founder of Dow Jones & Company, and Edward Jones. Charles Dow was also the first editor of The Wall Street Journal.

2. Early Components

When the Dow was first calculated in 1896, one of its components was the American Cotton Oil Company. Today, most components are in technology and finance, reflecting the shift in the economy over the years.

3. Not Always 30 Companies

While the Dow is commonly known as having 30 companies, it didn’t always have this number. It started with 12 companies in 1896 and increased to 20 in 1916. It reached its current count of 30 in 1928.

4. No Tech Companies Initially

In its early years, the Dow did not include technology companies. It wasn’t until 1982 that IBM became the first technology-based company to be included in the index.

5. Coca-Cola’s Longevity

Coca-Cola is one of the few companies that has been a part of the Dow for an exceptionally long time. It has been a continuous member since 1987, making it one of the index’s most enduring components.

6. Inclusion of a Non-U.S. Company

In 1928, the Dow included a non-U.S. company, Royal Dutch Petroleum (now a part of Royal Dutch Shell). This inclusion was unusual, as the Dow primarily consists of American companies.

7. Price-Weighted Quirks

Because the Dow is price-weighted, high-priced stocks can heavily influence the index’s movements. This means a single high-priced stock can significantly impact the entire average, sometimes leading to misleading interpretations of the market’s overall health.

8. Role in Calculating Stock Market ‘Breadth’

The Dow is often used to calculate stock market breadth, which measures the overall direction of the market. Despite its small size compared to other indices, the Dow’s movements can provide valuable insights into broader market trends.

9. Weighting Variations

The Dow’s price-weighted methodology can lead to unique situations. For instance, in 2018, Apple’s stock split altered its price, reducing its influence in the index temporarily, although the company’s market value remained unchanged.

10. Market Signal for Economists

Economists sometimes refer to the Dow’s performance as a psychological indicator of the economy. A rising Dow can boost consumer confidence, while a falling Dow may lead to caution among consumers and investors.

11. Not a Perfect Representation

While the Dow is widely followed, it is important to note that it represents only a small fraction of the entire stock market. There are thousands of publicly traded companies in the U.S., and the Dow’s 30 companies offer a limited view of market performance.

These lesser-known facts highlight some of the unique aspects and quirks associated with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, adding depth to its fascinating history in the world of finance.

List of companies present in Dow Jones at the time of its inception

When the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was first calculated on May 26, 1896, it consisted of 12 companies. Here is the list of these original 12 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the time of its inception:

  1. American Cotton Oil Company: A leading cotton processing company at the time, predecessor company to Hellmann’s and Best Foods, now part of Unilever.
  2. American Sugar Company: A sugar processing and distribution company, became Domino Sugar in 1900, now Domino Foods, Inc.
  3. American Tobacco Company: Broken up in a 1911 antitrust action. A major tobacco company that later became part of the conglomerate known as American Brands.
  4. Chicago Gas Company: A utility company providing gas services in Chicago. Bought by Peoples Gas Light in 1897, was an operating subsidiary of the now-defunct Integrys Energy Group until 2014.
  5. Distilling & Cattle Feeding Company: Involved in distilling and cattle feeding operations. now Millennium Chemicals, formerly a division of LyondellBasell.
  6. General Electric: A multinational conglomerate and one of the largest and most diversified industrial corporations in the world. Still in operation, removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 2018.
  7. Laclede Gas Company: A gas company based in St. Louis, Missouri. Still in operation as Spire Inc, removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1899.
  8. National Lead Company: A company involved in the production of lead-based products. Now NL Industries, removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1916.
  9. North American Company: A utility company involved in providing electricity and natural gas services. Broken up by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1946.
  10. Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company: A major industrial firm involved in coal and iron mining and steel production. Bought by U.S. Steel in 1907; U.S. Steel was removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1991.
  11. U.S. Leather Company (Preferred): A company involved in the production of leather and leather goods. Dissolved in 1952.
  12. United States Rubber Company: A company engaged in the manufacture and sale of various rubber products. Changed its name to Uniroyal in 1961, merged with private Goodrich Corporation in 1986, tire business bought by Michelin in 1990. (The remainder of Goodrich remained independent several more years but was acquired by United Technologies in 2012 and became a part of UTC Aerospace Systems, now Collins Aerospace, a Raytheon Technologies subsidiary.)

Please note that the names of these companies might sound different from contemporary corporations because of mergers, acquisitions, and name changes that have occurred over the years.

List of companies present in Dow Jones as of now

  1. 3M (MMM): Included in Dow Jones in August 1976. Known for innovation, 3M is a multinational conglomerate focused on products ranging from office supplies to health care.
  2. American Express (AXP): Included in Dow Jones in August 1982. A global financial services company best known for its credit card services.
  3. Amgen (AMGN): Included in Dow Jones in August 2020. A biotechnology company specializing in the discovery, development, and manufacturing of human therapeutics.
  4. Apple (AAPL): Included in Dow Jones in March 2015. A technology giant known for its consumer electronics, software, and digital services.
  5. Boeing (BA): Included in Dow Jones in March 1987. A leading aerospace and defense corporation manufacturing airplanes, rotorcraft, and satellites.
  6. Caterpillar (CAT): Included in Dow Jones in May 1991. A global construction and mining equipment manufacturer.
  7. Chevron (CVX): Included in Dow Jones in February 2008. One of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, engaged in every aspect of the energy industry.
  8. Cisco Systems (CSCO): Included in Dow Jones in June 2009. A technology company providing networking hardware, software, and telecommunications equipment.
  9. Coca-Cola (KO): Included in Dow Jones in March 1987. A multinational beverage corporation known for its soft drinks and non-alcoholic beverages.
  10. Disney (DIS): Included in Dow Jones in May 1991. A diversified multinational entertainment conglomerate famous for its film studios, theme parks, and media networks.
  11. Dow (DOW): Included in Dow Jones in April 2019. A materials science company, manufacturing products in various sectors including packaging, electronics, and transportation.
  12. Goldman Sachs (GS): Included in Dow Jones in September 2013. A global investment banking, securities, and investment management firm.
  13. Home Depot (HD): Included in Dow Jones in November 1999. A home improvement retailer selling construction products, tools, and services.
  14. Honeywell (HON): Included in Dow Jones in August 2020. A multinational conglomerate producing a wide range of commercial and consumer products.
  15. IBM (IBM): Included in Dow Jones in June 1979. A leading technology and consulting company providing hardware, software, and services.
  16. Intel (INTC): Included in Dow Jones in November 1999. A semiconductor company producing microprocessors and other computer-related components.
  17. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): Included in Dow Jones in March 1997. A global healthcare company engaged in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and consumer products.
  18. JP Morgan Chase (JPM): Included in Dow Jones in May 1991. A multinational investment bank and financial services holding company.
  19. McDonald’s (MCD): Included in Dow Jones in October 1985. A global fast-food restaurant chain known for its hamburgers, french fries, and milkshakes.
  20. Merck (MRK): Included in Dow Jones in June 1979. A pharmaceutical company developing prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and animal health products.
  21. Microsoft (MSFT): Included in Dow Jones in November 1999. A technology company producing software, consumer electronics, and computer services.
  22. Nike (NKE): Included in Dow Jones in November 2013. A multinational corporation specializing in athletic footwear, apparel, and sports equipment.
  23. Procter & Gamble (PG): Included in Dow Jones in May 1932. A consumer goods company producing a wide range of cleaning agents, personal care, and health products.
  24. Salesforce (CRM): Included in Dow Jones in August 2020. A cloud-based software company providing customer relationship management services.
  25. Travelers (TRV): Included in Dow Jones in June 2009. An insurance company providing a variety of insurance products to businesses, individuals, and organizations.
  26. UnitedHealth (UNH): Included in Dow Jones in September 2012. A health insurance and healthcare company offering a variety of health and well-being products and services.
  27. Verizon (VZ): Included in Dow Jones in April 2004. An American multinational telecommunications conglomerate. The company is incorporated in Delaware, and headquartered at 1095 Avenue of the Americas in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.
  28. Visa (V): Included in Dow Jones in September 2013. A global payments technology company facilitating electronic funds transfers throughout the world.
  29. Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA): Included in Dow Jones in June 2018. A holding company operating a chain of pharmacy and general stores.
  30. Walmart (WMT): Included in Dow Jones in March 1997. A multinational retail corporation operating hypermarkets, discount department stores, and grocery stores.


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