Stock Index

A stock index or a stock market index is a list of figures and stocks that are used to indicate the combined value of its constituents. The stock index is applied as a device for representing the essential features of its constituent stocks.
They are traded on the same stock exchange
They belong to the same industry
They carry identical market capitalization values

A large number of stock indices composed by financial service providers and news agencies are utilized for benchmarking or standardizing the performance of different kinds of investment portfolios, for example, mutual funds.

The stock market indices can be classified into different types based on their features and functions.

These include the following:
Broad base index
Price weighted index
Market value weighted index or Capitalization weighted index
Market share weighted index
Ethical investing index
Environment stock market indices

The most often quoted stock indices include the broad based indices, which are made up of the multinational company (MNC) stocks that are registered on the primary stock exchange of a country. The stock indexes are often classified as per the industry types, such as energy, electronics, finance, metal and water indices. A stock index type is determined by the method by which it is measured.

The most important stock indices of the world include the following:
The S&P 500 Stock Index
The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index
The NASDAQ Composite Index
These stock indices function as an indicator of the general economic scenario of a country. If the stock market indexes are on the high, it reflects that the overall financial condition of the different companies in the country and the general economy of the country are stable. If, however, there is a plunge noticed in the stock market index, it is indicative of poor economic condition of the companies and therefore, the general economy.

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Last Updated on : 26th August 2013