the stock performance of 30 large companies listed on stock exchanges in the United States. Although it is one of the most commonly followed equity indices, many consider the Dow to be an inadequate representation of the overall U.S. stock market compared to broader market indices such as the S&P 500 Index or Russell 3000 because it only includes 30 large cap companies, is not weighted by market capitalization, and does not use a weighted arithmetic mean.
The value of the index is the sum of the price of one share of stock for each component company divided by a factor which changes whenever one of the component stocks has a stock split or stock dividend, so as to generate a consistent value for the index. Since the divisor is currently around 0.1458, the value of the index is 6.859 times larger than the sum of the component prices.
It is the second-oldest U.S. market index after the Dow Jones Transportation Average, created by The Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & Company co-founder Charles Dow. It is the best known of the Dow Averages, of which the first (non-industrial) was originally published on February 16, 1885. The averages are named after Dow and one of his business associates, statistician Edward Jones. The industrial average was first calculated on May 26, 1896.