Category Archives: S&P 500 & DJIA

Active vs Passive Investing – Looking at 2013 Mid-Year Results

The past 12 months ending June 30 saw an impressive rally in the domestic equity markets with S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600 posting double digit gains.  During that period, the majority of active managers in all the categories except small cap growth underperformed their benchmarks.  The SPIVA 2013 mid-year report shows Read more […]

Who’s Calculating Your Index?

Most investors assume that ETFs are passive investment tools tracking independently calculated indices, that premise has arguably been one of the key factors driving the popularity of ETFs.  In the past investors and advisors could be confident about their understanding of an ETF by reviewing the rules governing the underlying index.  To a large extent Read more […]

If it ain’t broke, don’t VIX it

Within the last week, we’ve read about threats of another war in the Middle East, collapsing currencies across emerging markets, imminent rumblings of yet another Greek bailout.  As of this writing, there is one day left until the Fed’s much anticipated pronouncement on the “end” of QE.  Talk abounds of September being the worst month Read more […]

Companies Dying Faster?

MIT’s Technology Review pitches an argument by Richard N Foster, well known consultant, which uses exits from the S&P 500 to show that companies suffer shorter lifespans these days and are dropping off indices faster than they used to.  Foster includes a chart showing a seven year moving average of corporate lifespans including a forecast beyond Read more […]

Tapering Away

Next week the Federal Open Market Committee, meeting for the first time since July, is widely expected to announce the tapering of its quantitative easing program.  Whether the Fed begins to reduce its bond purchases now or later this year, most observers recognize its inevitability.  Indeed, as we’ve noted before, even the anticipation of tapering Read more […]

Commodity Beta: Hogs-Wild? Hardly. Energy Fills the Thrill!

If you believe the S&P 500, which is market cap weighted, is considered the U.S. stock market beta, then the S&P GSCI, which is world-production weighted (analogous to market cap weighted), is the logical choice for commodity beta.  Typically, using an index, namely the S&P 500, as the benchmark for beta is standard practice in Read more […]

The Dow: 3 for 3

This morning (September 10th) S&P Dow Jones Indices announced three deletions and additions for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  This post explains why we made these changes. The press release is on www.spdji.com The Dow is price weighted – each stock’s weight is the ratio of its price to the total of the prices of Read more […]

S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average

The two best known and most widely followed stock indices in the world are the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  While both follow large cap US stocks and both have long histories, they are quite different in some important ways. The Dow is the oldest regularly calculated stock index dating back to Read more […]

The Dog Days of Summer

Markets and investors both seem to be thinking about August vacations and little else these days. As we enter the second full week of August – or the third week before Labor Day for the pessimists and workaholics – things seem to be going quiet.  The Dell buyout, just about the only contested M&A action, Read more […]

The Fox and the Hedgehog

The ancient Greeks tell the story of the fox and the hedgehog.  The fox, it is said, knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing. Anyone who reads the Wall Street Journal or listens to CNBC will recognize the vulpine nature of much of the financial world.  One key to investment success is Read more […]