The Dow Jones Industrial Average is often referred to as “the market” by news outlets. While it certainly makes up an important part of the market, it is by no means representative of the overall market. The entire index is made up of only 30 companies, all blue chip stocks. They are:
3M 3M COMPANY
– Maker of adhesives and other materials for both consumer and industrial markets, including the ubiquitous Post-It Notes.
American Express AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY
– A global payment company serving both the consumer and corporate markets.
Apple APPLE INC.
– A technology company that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, online services, and personal computers.
Boeing BOEING COMPANY
– Boeing is involved in most aspects of flight, from commercial airplanes to space-related systems and defense contracting.
Caterpillar CATERPILLAR INC.
– Maker of heavy industrial machinery and construction equipment.
Chevron CHEVRON CORP.
– Energy corporation.
Cisco CISCO SYSTEMS INC.
– Technology company that designs, manufactures, and sells networking equipment.
Coca-Cola COCA-COLA COMPANY
– The king of soft drinks (sorry, Pepsi drinkers) now has over 400 product lines including teas, coffees, and sports/energy drinks.
DuPont DUPONT DE NEMOURS
– DuPont manufactures products and chemicals for a wide range of industries including agriculture, medical, electronics, protective apparel, and motor vehicles.
Exxon Mobil EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION
– This oil and gas giant operates exploration and production facilities worldwide, and also manufactures specialty petrochemicals.
General Electric GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY
– A very diversified group of products including appliances, electrical distribution, aircraft engines, entertainment, and financial services.
Goldman Sachs GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC.
– Investment banking firm that’s been taking care of business since 1869, surviving both the Great Depression and the Great Recession.
Home Depot THE HOME DEPOT INC.
– Major chain for hardware, appliances, landscaping, and other home improvement projects.
– Long established in the information technology field, IBM also provides consulting and financing services within a variety of market sectors.
Intel [INTEL CORPORATION
– A pioneer and industry leader in semiconductor chip manufacturing.
Johnson and Johnson JOHNSON & JOHNSON
– Far more than baby powder and shampoo, J&J is now involved in multiple health care sectors (Consumer, Pharmaceutical, and Medical Devices and Diagnostics).
– Supplier of banking and investment financial services through several subsidiaries.
McDonalds MCDONALD'S CORP.
– The classic golden arches of the fast food giant may be found in over 100 countries.
Merck MERCK & CO. INC.
– A producer of pharmaceutical products for both human and animal health.
Microsoft MICROSOFT CORP.
– Creator of software and operating systems for millions of computers worldwide.
Nike NIKE INC.
– From Michael Jordan’s feet to the top of the heap, this apparel and footwear company known for its “Swoosh” was named for the Greek goddess of victory.
Pfizer PFIZER INC.
– This pharmaceutical titan produces many prescription and brand name medicines, including Advil and Neosporin.
Procter & Gamble PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY
– A producer of many well- known consumer products, from Tide detergent and Charmin bathroom tissue to Gillette razors and Braun hair grooming appliances.
Travelers Companies THE TRAVELERS COMPANIES INC.
– Insurance company. You’ve doubtlessly seen their umbrella logo.
United Technologies UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
– A supplier to the building and aerospace segments, including Pratt and Whitney and Otis elevators.
UnitedHealth UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INCORPORATED
– A diversified managed health care company.
Verizon Communications VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC.
– AT&T’s main rival for cell phone and telecommunication dominance.
Visa VISA INC.
– A financial services and payment technology company and American Express rival.
Wal-Mart WALMART INC.
– Retail chain covering everything from bulk sales of staples (Sam’s Clubs) to general retail (Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart Supercenters) to traditional groceries (Neighborhood Markets).
Walt Disney WALT DISNEY COMPANY
– An entertainment colossus, with iconic theme parks, movies, and trademarked and beloved characters adorning tons of merchandise.
The Dow is diverse within sectors, but not within size. Unless you hold any of these stocks, or an index fund that tracks the Dow, the Dow’s numbers may not reflect what is happening with your portfolio. Keep an eye on the Dow, but remember to check your individual stocks.
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