An index is essentially a list of stocks, representing a particular market, or a portion of it. Each index serves as a statistical measure of changes in a securities market, and investors turn to indices to monitor the performance of the stock market, and trade on its movements.
Fluctuations in the price of an index represent a proportional change in the portfolio of stocks that make up the index. For instance, the American Dow Jones presents a portfolio of 30 large publicly owned US companies traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq. As a price weighted index, the stocks with higher prices have a greater weight and therefore have more of an impact on the Dow’s performance.
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