What is 'Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index (TMWX)'

The Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index is a market capitalization-weighted index composed of more than 6,700 publicly traded companies that meet the following criteria:

  • The companies are headquartered in the United States.
  • The stocks are actively traded on an American stock exchange.
  • The stocks have pricing information that is widely available to the public.

BREAKING DOWN 'Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index (TMWX)'

The Wilshire 5000 was originally comprised of 5,000 stocks, but today it is made up of more than 6,700. As with all market capitalization-weighted indices, the Wilshire overweights companies with a higher firm value and underweights those with a lower firm value. This is one of the broadest indexes and is designed to track the overall performance of the American stock markets. Its ticker symbol is TMWX.

History of the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index

The Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index was established by the Wilshire Associates in 1974 and was renamed the "Dow Jones Wilshire 5000" in April 2004, after Dow Jones & Company took over the index. On March 31, 2009, the index returned to Wilshire Associates when the partnership with Dow Jones was terminated.

  • When it started, the value of the index was 1404.60 points on base date December 31, 1980, with a total market capitalization of $1,404.596 billion. On that date, each point on the index was equal to $1 billion, but divisor adjustments due to corporate actions and index composition changes have changed the relationship over time.
  • The index increased more than 10 times over in less than twenty years, closing at record high of 14,751.64 points on March 24, 2000. That level wasn't surpassed until February 20, 2007.
  • On April 20, 2007, the index closed above 15,000 for the first time. On that day, the S&P 500 was still several percentage points below its March 2000 high, because small cap issues absent from the S&P 500 and included in the Wilshire 5000 outperformed the large cap issues that dominate the S&P 500 during the cyclical bull market. The index reached an all-time high on October 9, 2007 at the 15,806.69 point level, right before the onset of The Great Recession.
  • On October 8, 2007, the Wilshire 5000 closed below 10,000 for the first time since 2003. The index continued trading downward towards a 13-year low, reaching a bottom of 6,858.43 points, on March 9, 2009, representing a loss of about $10.9 trillion in market capitalization from its highs in 2007.
  • The Wilshire 5000 hit its first intraday high over 20,000 points on February 28, 2014. On March 4, the index closed above this milestone for the first time. On July 1, 2014, the index closed above the 21,000 level for the first time.
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