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What You Need to Know About the Dow Jones


Charles Dow was the owner and editor of a newspaper. He joined forces with Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser to create a newspaper called the Customer's Afternoon Letter in 1882. The paper was well-read by financial advisors.

Charles Dow Transportation Index

The Dow Jones was created in 1895. The index was published in their newspaper. It was not the first index that Charles Dow had created. On July 3, 1884, he published his Transportation Index. That index contained 11 companies in the transportation sector, including nine railway companies. Using a method that is still employed today, Dow took the price of one share from each of those stocks and added them together. Then, he divided by the total number of shares. The transportation index was published daily in the pair’s newspaper.

30 Companies

Fast-forward to 1929, and the average index was changed to include 30 companies, but the same criteria applied, with each being the strongest in their industry. In May 2020, the index, which is now owned by News Corp, still contains 30 stocks. Roger Murdoch owns News Corp. According to Money Morning, “The "Dow stock" number is an average of the 30 indexed companies' performances. The term "Dow stock" is often used by investors and the media as an overview of the health of the stock market as a whole.”

The Dow Jones 30

The 30 stock are:
  • 3M - This conglomerate was added to the index on August 9, 1976.
  • American Express- This financial services company was added to the index on August 30, 1982.
  • Apple – This information technology company joined the index on March 19, 2015.
  • Boeing- This aerospace and defense company was added on March 12, 1987.
  • Caterpillar- This construction and mining company was added on May 6, 1991.
  • Chevron – This petroleum company was added on February 19, 2008, and they had previously been on the list from July 18, 1930, to November 1, 1999.
  • Cisco – This informational technology company was added on June 8, 2009.
  • Coca-Cola – This food industry company was added to the list on March 12, 1987, after having been on the list from May 26, 1932, to November 20, 1935.
  • Dow Chemical This company was added to the index on April 2, 2019.
  • ExxonMobil- One of the oldest companies on the Dow, they were added on October 1, 1928, as Standard Oil of New Jersey.
  • Goldman Sachs – This financial services firm was added to the Dow on September 20, 2013.
  • Home Depot- This retailer was added to the Dow on November 1, 1999.
  • IBM – This informational technology company was added to the Dow on June 29, 1979, and they had previously been on the index from June 26, 1932, to March 4, 1939.
  • Intel – This informational technology company was added on November 1, 1999.
  • Johnson & Johnson – This pharmaceutical industry was added on March 17, 1997.
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. - This financial services company was added on May 6, 1991.
  • McDonald’s - This food industry company was added on October 30, 1985.
  • Merck – This pharmaceutical company was added on June 29, 1979.
  • Microsoft- This informational technology company was added on November 1, 1999.
  • Nike – This apparel company was added on September 20, 2013.
  • Pfizer – This pharmaceutical company was added on April 8, 2004.
  • Proctor & Gamble – This consumer goods company was added on May 26, 1932.
  • Raytheon Technologies – This aerospace and defense company was added on March 13, 1939, as United Aircraft and was later known as United Technologies.
  • Travelers Companies Inc- This financial services company was added on June 8, 2009.
  • UnitedHealth Group –This managed healthcare company was added on September 24, 2012.
  • Verizon – This telecommunication company was added on April 8, 2004.
  • Visa – This financial services company was added on September 20, 2013.
  • Walmart – This retailer was added on March 17, 1997.
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance – This retailer was added on June 26, 2018.
  • Walt Disney Company – This broadcasting and entertainment company was added on May 6, 1991.
The index may continue to change companies in the future as conditions in the United States change.


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