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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 Honeywell International Inc.
Alcoa Inc. Intel
Altria Group, Incorporated International Business Machines
American Express J.P. Morgan Chase & Company
American International Group Inc.* Johnson & Johnson
Boeing Company McDonald's Corporation
Caterpillar Incorporated Merck & Company, Incorporated
Citicorp Incorporated Pfizer Incorporated*
Coca-Cola Company Microsoft Corporation
DuPont Proctor & Gamble Company
Exxon Mobil Corporation SBC Communications Incorporated
General Electric Company United Technologies Corporation
General Motors Corporation Verizon Communications Inc.*
Hewlett-Packard Incorporated Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated
Home Depot Incorporated Walt Disney Company

* Added on April 8, 2004.

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.