Index

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Ooma, Inc. (NYSE:OOMA), a smart communications platform for small businesses and consumers, announced today it was added to the Russell 2000® and Russell 3000® Indexes following Russell Investments' reconstitution of its...
New York Times  Jun 26  Comment 
U.S. stock indexes closed mostly higher Monday, snapping a four-day losing streak for the Dow Jones industrial average on a day of largely listless trading.
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The Sensex and the Nifty appear to be in a fresh leg of the long-term uptrend
Mondo Visione  Jun 24  Comment 
Nasdaq (Symbol: NDAQ) today announced the Nasdaq Closing Cross was used for the 14th consecutive year to rebalance Nasdaq-listed securities in the entire family of  Russell US Indexes, part of leading global index provider FTSE Russell, during...
New York Times  Jun 22  Comment 
U.S. stock indexes held steady Thursday after the price of oil halted its slide, at least for now.
Financial Times  Jun 20  Comment 
The FT’s daily newsletter on the world of investment
Mondo Visione  Jun 13  Comment 
EDHEC Infrastructure Institute-Singapore (EDHECinfra) is releasing 384 infrastructure debt and equity indices that will change the way investors measure infrastructure investment performance and allow multi-trillion dollar increases in allocation...




 
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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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