How Stock Indices Work

Channel News Asia  May 9  Comment 
U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday as a favorable French election outcome and a robust first-quarter earnings season improved appetite for risk.
MarketWatch  May 9  Comment 
‘Sometimes good investments are not the exciting ones,’ says Guinness Atkinson’s Matthew Page. By Phil van Doorn.
Financial Times  May 3  Comment 
The 22-nation measure overcomes Trump worries to hit 22-month high
CNBC  May 2  Comment 
U.S. stock index futures pointed to a mixed open on Tuesday as the Fed open market committee meeting kicks off.
Channel News Asia  Apr 28  Comment 
U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday as investors awaited the first-quarter report on gross domestic product, while assessing quarterly earnings.
Channel News Asia  Apr 28  Comment 
U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Wednesday amid a flood of corporate earnings, while investors awaited President Donald Trump's tax plan.
Mondo Visione  Apr 27  Comment 
RAZGULAY Group PJSC ords will be removed from the MICEX Broad Market Index, the RTS Broad Market Index, the MICEX Second-Tier Index, the RTS-2 Index, the MICEX Consumer Goods and Services Index and the RTS Consumer & Retail Index on 28 April...
Wall Street Journal  Apr 26  Comment 
After breaking through an intraday high that had stood since 2015, India’s S&P BSE Sensex lost some ground but still finished at a new closing high, one of a succession this month.
Yahoo  Apr 24  Comment 
U.S. stock index futures rose sharply on Sunday on relief that centrist Emmanuel Macron took the first round of voting in the French presidential election, reducing the prospect of an anti-establishment market shock. Macron will face far-right...


A stock index is generally a portfolio of stocks, bonds or other kinds of investments which are used to represent either segments of an exchange or the whole exchange. One of the most common ways to understand a stock index is to have a look at the composition of the stocks it represents. Generally, the set of rules require the stocks to satisfy certain criteria, such that[1]:

  • All the investments in the index are subject to selection.
  • Includes calculations and rules for weighting of the index components.
  • Provides specific instructions for adjustments to maintain consistency.

How Stock Market Indexes are classified

The benchmark indices of various exchanges not only represent the stocks, but the scenario of the market as a whole. Hence, they are used to depict the overall health of the economy as well. Understanding how the index works, is a good way to begin analysis on various stocks and their importance to the economy. A good way to analyze an index is to understand the composition of the stocks it represents.

A broad based index or composite index is the one which covers almost all stocks on the exchange (or a certain majority percentage of the market capitalization on the exchange). The main purpose of the broad based index is to act as a proxy for the performance of the economic conditions of the entire market, or reveal investor sentiment towards the market.

Based on the definition of a stock index, a global index could include indices which span across exchanges and possibly countries. The Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 Total Stock Market Index spans all publicly traded index in America, excluding foreign stocks and ADRs. The Euronext 100 includes stocks from all over the European Union and the Russell Investment group have something called the Global Index.


<Broby, D., "Equity Index Construction", The Journal of Index Investing, Fall 2011, Vol. 2, No. 2: pp. 36-39 />

Wikinvest © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. Use of this site is subject to express Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, and Disclaimer. By continuing past this page, you agree to abide by these terms. Any information provided by Wikinvest, including but not limited to company data, competitors, business analysis, market share, sales revenues and other operating metrics, earnings call analysis, conference call transcripts, industry information, or price targets should not be construed as research, trading tips or recommendations, or investment advice and is provided with no warrants as to its accuracy. Stock market data, including US and International equity symbols, stock quotes, share prices, earnings ratios, and other fundamental data is provided by data partners. Stock market quotes delayed at least 15 minutes for NASDAQ, 20 mins for NYSE and AMEX. Market data by Xignite. See data providers for more details. Company names, products, services and branding cited herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. The use of trademarks or service marks of another is not a representation that the other is affiliated with, sponsors, is sponsored by, endorses, or is endorsed by Wikinvest.
Powered by MediaWiki