The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday marks its 115th anniversary. The blue-chip index began exactly 115 years ago on May 26, 1896, as a listing of 12 stocks published for readers of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) by Charles Dow, who is one of the founders of The Wall Street Journal.
The City of New York has proclaimed May 26, 2011 to be "Dow Jones Industrial Average Day" in recognition of the iconic index's 115th anniversary. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is today by far the most recognisable, most frequently followed, and the longest-serving stock market indicator in the world.
"Since its birth in the late 19th Century, The Dow has become a fixture in American life - the gold standard in measuring economic health and prosperity with a track record unrivaled by any other index. The Dow is the most quoted gauge of the US stock market globally," said John A. Prestbo, Editor and Executive Director of Dow Jones Indexes.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is owned by Dow Jones Indexes, part of a joint venture company owned 90% by CME Group Inc. and 10% by Dow Jones & Company, Inc., a News Corporation company.
According to Dow Jones Indexes, more than US$37bn in assets and 2,600 financial products are linked to The Dow. Further, its 30 stocks account for 24% of the total US market value, with 39% of the US.
"The Dow today is just as relevant today as it was 115 years ago," said Prestbo. As one of three people involved in selecting the companies included in the iconic index, Prestbo is affectionately known as the 'Keeper of the Dow'.
The Dow's top three components are International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), Caterpillar Inc. and Chevron Corp.