Index

RECENT NEWS
MarketWatch  Aug 12  Comment 
Stocks rose across the board in Asia on Friday, catching an updraft from the U.S., where the three main indexes closed at record levels on the same day for the first time since 1999.
Mondo Visione  Aug 11  Comment 
​The composition of the new indices will be published on January 26, 2017.  Trading in the new indices will start on February 9, 2017. A proposal to cancel the indices update in December will be discussed by TASE's board  In...
The Economic Times  Aug 11  Comment 
Energy companies and retailers led U.S. stocks broadly higher in morning trading Thursday, as the market rebounded from modest losses the day before.
MarketWatch  Aug 10  Comment 
U.S. stock indexes take sharp turns lower near midsession
Mondo Visione  Aug 9  Comment 
In July, Moscow Exchange"s Indices reflected the positive trend by the MICEX Index on the Russian stock market. The MICEX Index was up 2.83% to 1,944.62 (from 1,891.09 on 30 June), while the dollar-denominated RTS Index fell 0.34% to 927.57 (from...
Reuters  Aug 9  Comment 
The Nasdaq composite rose to a record high close on Tuesday while other major indexes hovered near their own recent all-time highs in a session with thin trading volume.
Financial Times  Aug 9  Comment 
Sterling hovers around $1.30 level




 
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An index, when used with respect to financial markets, is a statistical measure of change in a securities market. Indexes, or indices (both are correct in American English), are imaginary portfolios of securities (usually stocks) representing a particular market or a portion of it.

This is the chart for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Scroll down for a list of major world indices on Wikinvest.



Generally, an index has three main purposes:

  • An Index shows the performance of a basket of equities instead of just a single equity - IE an index is diversified.
  • An index can show the performance of a particular class of assets - for example, a biotechnology index would show the performance of a diverse group of biotech companies over time.
  • An index can also be used to provide a generic securities category for passive management and derivatives (passive investing).

Each index is calculated using its own methodology, and its value is expressed in terms of a change from an original base value. So the numerical value of an index is not as significant as the percent change in the index.

Investing in indexes is a way to invest in the performance of a broad market sector, or in the market as a whole. But to trade an index, an investor must buy or sell through a third party. Stock and bond market indexes are used to make mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that mirror the performance of the index. Regardless of security type, indexing can cover broad categories such as a Total Market Index like (VTI), index investing can also be more micro and track sectors such as Small Cap Brazilian Companies (BRF).

When investing in an Exchange Traded Funds that tracks an index, an investor buys or sells an entire group of stocks when trading that particular ETF - an example is the StreetTRACKS Dow Jones Global Titans Index Fund (DGT). Some indexes allow investors to put money into commodities - an example is the PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund (DBC) - while others, like the Baltic Dry Index (BDI), are important economic indicators used to measure the rates under which services are sold in a particular industry (in the case of the BDI, dry bulk shipping). Still others are forward looking, measuring the anticipated volatility of the markets - an example is the Nasdaq Volatility Index (VXN).

Major World Index on Wikinvest

There are many products available to investors to give them exposure to international indices. Mutual Funds and ETFs are the most widely held instruments which investors use to track markets around the world. Some examples of Major World Indices would be MSCI Emerging Market Index (EEM), MSCI EFAE Index (EFA), or Vanguard Emerging Markets (VWO). These are just a few examples of common securities offered to investors seeking exposure to an international world market index.

It is important to consider the currency risks of investing in many international index funds as well as the potentially higher costs associated with the transactions needed to operate the fund (trading, taxes, etc).


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