What is a 'Market Proxy'
A market proxy is a broad representation of the overall market. A market proxy is chosen and used to simplify studies that require a market variable, statistic or comparison. The market proxy, once selected, is then used in performance evaluations and studies, or to test a hypothesis.
BREAKING DOWN 'Market Proxy'
Finding a true proxy (or reflection) of the market as a whole may not be possible, because a proxy will only be a fragment of the entire market for all risky assets. As well, every proxy for the market would need to be unique, according to what is being traded or measured. For example, the S&P 500 could be used as a market proxy when evaluating the excess returns of a fund manager only using stock from the S&P 500. A different proxy would be needed, however, to assess a manager trading in futures or using fixed-income arbitrage.