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The Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Dow Jones Industrial Average

The most often quoted stock market indicator is the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). In 1884, 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 Oil

Laclede Gas

American Sugar

National Lead

American Tobacco

North American

Chicago Gas

Tennessee Coal & Iron

Distilling & Cattle Feeding

U. S. Leather preferred

General Electric

U. S. Rubber

Current DJIA Stocks

3M Company

J.P. Morgan Chase & Company

American Express

Johnson & Johnson

Apple Inc.

McDonald's Corporation

Boeing Company

Merck & Company, Incorporated

Caterpillar Incorporated

Microsoft Corporation

Chevron Corporation

Nike

Cisco Systems, Inc.

Pfizer Incorporated

Coca-Cola Company

Proctor & Gamble Company

DuPont

Travelers Companies, Inc.

Exxon Mobil Corporation

UnitedHealth Group

General Electric Company

United Technologies Corporation

Goldman Sachs

Verizon Communications Inc.

Home Depot Incorporated

Visa

Intel

Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated

International Business Machines

Walt Disney Company

In September, 2012, UnitedHealth Group replaced Kraft Foods. In September, 2013, Goldman Sachs, Nike and Visa replaced Alcoa, Bank of America and Hewlett Packard. In March 2015, Apple replaced AT&T.

The DJIA is the most well known stock market indicator. However, the S+P500 and NASDAQ indexes include a broader selection of stocks including smaller companies.

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