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The Dow Jones Industrial Average was created in 1896 by Charles Dow and originally consisted of 12 companies: American Cotton Oil, American Sugar, American Tobacco, Chicago Gas, Distilling & Cattle Feeding, General Electric, Laclede Gas, National Lead, North American, Tennessee Coal and Iron, U.S. Leather and U.S. Rubber. At the time, these companies represented each sector of the market, thus the Dow Jones illustrated the overall performance of the market in the United States.

At the end of a recession created by the collapse of Philadelphia and Reading Railroads in 1893, these companies represented the stronghold of the nation. Even with the trouble from the railroads, coal remained the dominant fuel for transportation, while gas and electric were growing in demand. Crops were a major export and source of revenue for the economy, while also providing sustenance.

Changes to the Dow

As the country's industrial age came to a close, electricity became the dominant energy source that led to numerous technological advancements, and the economy shifted toward providing more consumer goods. With these changes, all but General Electric ceased to exist.

In 1929, the Dow was expanded to include 30 companies. These companies have changed over the years, but the index still represents the U.S. market in general. The companies included accounts for only about a quarter of the market; however, the index accurately reflects trends across the entire market.

2018 Companies in the Dow

Below is a list of the companies included in the Dow as of September 2018. They are listed by length of time on the index, with the newest – Walgreens Boots Alliance – having been added June 26, 2018.

  1. ExxonMobil 
  2. Procter & Gamble
  3. DowDuPont 
  4. United Technologies
  5. 3M
  6. IBM
  7. Merck
  8. American Express
  9. McDonald's
  10. Boeing
  11. Coca-Cola
  12. Caterpillar
  13. JPMorgan Chase
  14. Walt Disney
  15. Johnson & Johnson
  16. Walmart
  17. Home Depot
  18. Intel
  19. Microsoft
  20. Pfizer
  21. Verizon
  22. Chevron
  23. Cisco Systems
  24. Travelers Cos.
  25. UnitedHealth Group
  26. Goldman Sachs
  27. Nike
  28. Visa
  29. Apple
  30. Walgreens Boots Alliance

For related reading, see "Understanding and Playing the Dow Jones Industrial Average."

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