Standard & Poor's 500 composite index (S&P 500)

Popular Terms
Benchmark indicator of the overall US stockmarket condition. It is based on the average performance of the common stock (ordinary shares) of the 500 largest US firms. Popularly known as S&P 500, it is (in contrast to DJIA) a market capitalization weighted index; thus the effect of fluctuations in the price of a large firm's stock counts proportionately more than that of a smaller firm. Its composition (which varies over time) currently includes 379 industrial, 74 financial, 37 utility, and 10 transportation firms, and represents about 75 percent of the total market capitalization of all US firms traded in the equity market.
Prior to July 9, 2002, it included also the stocks of foreign corporate giants such as Alcan, Shell, and Unilever, but no longer.


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