Dow Jones* often refers to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was one of the first stock indices and is one of the most commonly referred to barometers of equity performance in the United States. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, not to be confused with the Dow Jones Transportation index (which was the first index), is often called, "the Dow" or "DJIA," and consists of thirty stocks which traditionally were industrial-based. But in recent years as the US economy has become more consumer-oriented, the index has seen a change in composition that no longer has much to do with direct industrial investment. Given the smaller composition of the index as opposed to other indices like the S&P 500, the Dow will often exhibit behaviors of extremely large blue-chip companies in the US economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was first calculated on May 26th, 1896 and is the product of Mr. Charles Dow, who was a former editor of the Wall Street Journal and a co-founder of Dow Jones and Co. The index was created to offer readers and investors a more simplified way of looking at broad-market equity performance as opposed to just evaluating a couple of stocks. The composition of the Dow stays relatively consistent, but does get periodic modifications to the way that the index is calculated as well as occasional changes to the underlying components. The most recent change in the constituency of the index (as of this writing) was the addition of Apple (Ticker: AAPL) in March of 2015, replacing AT&T (Ticker: T), which had been a component of the index since November 1916. Before that, the previous modification to the index was the addition of Goldman Sachs (Ticker: GS), Nike (Ticker: NKE) and Visa (Ticker: V) in September of 2013, replacing Alcoa (Ticker: AA), Bank of America (Ticker: BAC), and Hewlett-Packard (Ticker: HPQ).
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