Dow Jones Industrial Average



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Dow Jones, the Dow Jones Industrial, the Dow 30, or simply the Dow, is a stock market index, and one of several indices created by Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & Company co-founder Charles Dow. The industrial average was first calculated on May 26, 1896.[1] Currently owned by S&P Dow Jones Indices, which is majority owned by McGraw-Hill Financial, it is the most notable of the Dow Averages, of which the first (non-industrial) was first published on February 16, 1885. The averages are named after Dow and one of his business associates, statistician Edward Jones. It is an index that shows how 30 large publicly owned companies based in the United States have traded during a standard trading session in the stock market.[3] It is the second oldest U.S. market index after the Dow Jones Transportation Average, which was also created by Dow.

The Industrial portion of the name is largely historical, as many of the modern 30 components have little or nothing to do with traditional heavy industry. The average is price-weighted, and to compensate for the effects of stock splits and other adjustments, it is currently a scaled average. The value of the Dow is not the actual average of the prices of its component stocks, but rather the sum of the component prices divided by a divisor, which changes whenever one of the component stocks has a stock split or stock dividend, so as to generate a consistent value for the index. Since the divisor is currently less than one, the value of the index is larger than the sum of the component prices. Although the Dow is compiled to gauge the performance of the industrial sector within the American economy, the index’s performance continues to be influenced by not only corporate and economic reports, but also by domestic and foreign political events such as war and terrorism, as well as by natural disasters that could potentially lead to economic harm.

Along with the NASDAQ Composite, the S&P 500 Index, and the Russell 2000 Index, the Dow is among the most closely watched U.S. benchmark indices tracking targeted stock market activity. Components of the Dow trade on both the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ. Derivatives of the Dow trade on the Chicago Board Options Exchange and through the CME Group, the world’s largest futures exchange company. CME Group owns 24.4% of S&P Dow Jones Indices, which maintains the Industrial Average.[4] Dow Jones & Company is an American publishing and financial information firm that has been owned by News Corp since 2007.

The company was best known for the publication of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and related market statistics, Dow Jones Newswire and a number of financial publications. In 2010 the Dow Jones Indexes subsidiary was sold to the CME Group and the company focused on financial news publications, including its flagship publication The Wall Street Journal and providing financial news and information tools to financial companies.

The company was led by the Bancroft family, which held 64% of voting stock, from the 1920s until 2007 when an extended takeover battle saw News Corp take control of the company.

The company was founded in 1882 by three reporters: Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser.

Dow Jones was acquired in 1902 by the leading financial journalist of the day, Clarence Barron after the death of co-founder Charles Dow.[3] Upon Barron’s death in 1928, control of the company passed to his stepdaughters Jane and Martha Bancroft. The company was led by the Bancroft family, which effectively controlled 64% of all voting stock, until 2007 when an extended takeover battle saw News Corporation acquire the business.

The company became a subsidiary of News Corporation after an extended takeover bid during 2007.[4] It was reported on August 1, 2007 that the bid had been successful[5][6] after an extended period of uncertainty about shareholder agreement.[7] The transaction was completed on December 13, 2007. It was worth US$5 billion or $60 a share, giving News Corp control of The Wall Street Journal and ending the Bancroft family’s 105 years of ownership.[8]

In 2010, the company sold 90% of Dow Jones Indexes to the CME Group, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

OWNERSHIP

The company’s foundation was laid by Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser who, over two decades, conceived and promoted the three products which define Dow Jones and financial journalism: The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.[3]

Dow Jones was acquired in 1902 by the leading financial journalist of the day, Clarence Barron.[3]

In 2007 Dow Jones was acquired by News Corp., a leading global media company.[3]

The Bancroft family and heirs of Clarence W. Barron effectively controlled the company’s class B shares, each with a voting power of ten regular shares, prior to its sale to News Corp. At one time, they controlled 64% of Dow Jones voting stock.[11]


 

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