A:

Dow Jones, or more precisely "Dow Jones & Company", is one of the largest business and financial news companies in the world. The firm was founded in 1896 by Charles Dow, Edward T. Jones, and Charles Bergstresser. In 1889 they founded The Wall Street Journal, which remains one of the most influential financial publications.

It is easy to confuse Dow Jones with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). Often referred to as "the Dow", the DJIA is one of the most watched stock indexes in the world, containing companies like General Electric, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, and Exxon. Dow Jones (the company) owns the Dow Jones Industrial Average as well as many other indexes that represent different sectors of the economy.

In the world of finance, you'll often hear people ask, "How did New York do today?" or "How did the market perform today?" In both cases, these people are likely referring to the DJIA as it is the most widely used index, above both the S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index.

To find out how the Dow is calculated, see Calculating the Dow Jones Industrial Average. For more background on stock indexes in general, see our index investing tutorial.

RELATED FAQS
  1. Is the Dow Jones a stock exchange?

    Learn about the Dow Jones Industrial Average and its impact. This historically significant index provides a daily snapshot ... Read Answer >>
  2. When did the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) begin?

    Discover how the Dow Jones Industrial Average, first published in 1896, was created as a way to inform investors of the overall ... Read Answer >>
  3. When was the Dow Jones Industrial Average first calculated?

    Charles Henry Dow was born on a farm in Connecticut on November 6, 1851. Farming didn't suit Charles Dow, however, so he ... Read Answer >>
  4. What is the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) all-time high?

    Inching ever higher, the Dow Jones recorded new highs in May 2015. Since the index was first calculated in 1896, it has grown ... Read Answer >>
  5. Who owns Dow Jones & Company?

    Learn how the purchase of Dow Jones & Company by News Corp. included the acquisition of The Wall Street Journal, Barron's ... Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Why The Dow Matters

    Although the DJIA only includes 30 stocks, it can tell you a lot about the market as a whole.
  2. Insights

    Why You Need To Know About S&P Dow Jones Indices

    This Article introduces the S&P Dow Jones Indices (SPDJI), available variant categories and index trading advantages
  3. Investing

    Understanding And Playing The Dow Jones Industrial Average

    Learn strategies for investing in this price-weighted index and how to interpret its movements.
  4. Insights

    The Enduring Importance Of The DJIA

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) continues to be an important indicator of the economy, though some say the DJIA doesn't have the same import as it once did.
  5. Investing

    Why Investors Are Cooling on the Dow

    Cooling Off: Investors withdrew $2 billion last week from the SPDR Dow Jones ETF, 12.5% of its value
  6. Investing

    Dow Touches 19,000

    As markets continue their run higher, investors wonder what the next stop is.
  7. Investing

    4 Famous Companies Dropped From the Dow Jones

    Learn about some of the largest and most famous companies that have been removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) over its 119-year history.
  8. Investing

    5 Stocks Commanding the Dow Bull Market (MMM, CVX)

    Just 5 stocks—United Healthcare, 3M, Chevron, Caterpillar and IBM—are responsible for 81% of the gain in the Dow Jones Industrial Average so far this year, which is up around 2.5% YTD.
  9. Investing

    DIA vs. IWL: Comparing ETFs with the Largest U.S. Companies

    Find out how the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF compares with the iShares Russell Top 200 as mega-cap exchange-traded funds.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Dow Jones 65 Composite Average

    A composite index that measures changes within the 65 companies ...
  2. Dow Jones Industrial Average - DJIA

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted average ...
  3. Dow Jones U.S. Market Index

    A market-capitalization-weighted index maintained by Dow Jones ...
  4. Theoretical Dow Jones Index

    A method of calculating a Dow Jones index (most often the DJIA) ...
  5. Dow Jones Wilshire Mid-Cap Index

    A market-capitalization weighted index maintained by Dow Jones ...
  6. Dow Jones Wilshire Small-Cap Index

    Former name of the Wilshire US Small-Cap Index, a market-capitalization ...
Hot Definitions
  1. Current Ratio

    The current ratio is a liquidity ratio measuring a company's ability to pay short-term and long-term obligations, also known ...
  2. SEC Form 13F

    A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), also known as the Information Required of Institutional Investment ...
  3. Quantitative Easing

    An unconventional monetary policy in which a central bank purchases private sector financial assets in order to lower interest ...
  4. Risk Averse

    A description of an investor who, when faced with two investments with a similar expected return (but different risks), will ...
  5. Indirect Tax

    A tax that increases the price of a good so that consumers are actually paying the tax by paying more for the products. An ...
  6. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
Trading Center