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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
DowDuPont 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. In 2017, DowDuPont replaced DuPont whtn Dow Chemical merged with DuPont.

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.