At the close:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was first published in 1896 and tracks 30 of the largest U.S. listed companies.
Along with the S&P 500, the DJIA is a primary benchmark for the US stock market. It's a price-weighted index so higher priced companies have a larger impact on the index movement.
As at April 2016, it accounted for around 25% of US equity market capitalisation.
Constituents can be drawn from either the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or the NASDAQ Exchange.
||American Express Co.
||The Boeing Company
||Cisco Systems, Inc.
||E. l. du Pont deNemours
||Walt Disney Corp.
||General Electric Company
||Goldman Sachs Group
||The Home Depot, Inc.
||Int. Business Machines
||Johnson & Johnson
||JPMorgan Chase & Co
||The Coca-Cola Compnay
||Merck & Co. Inc.
||Procter & Gamble Co.
||Travelers Companies, Inc.
||United Health Group Inc.
||United Technologies Corp.
||Verizon Communications Inc.
||Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
||Exxon Mobil Corporation
How can Australians get exposure to the U.S Stock Market?
Australian investors can get exposure in two ways:
1) Directly purchasing U.S. listed shares (or Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)) through their stock broker
2) Indirectly via an ASX listed ETF.
As at April 2016, there are no ASX ETFs that track the Dow Jones, only more diversified indices like the S&P 500 and Russell 2000 index.
What are the NASDAQ and S&P 500?
Two other indices are widely quoted alongside the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA).
S&P 500 - Tracks 500 of the largest U.S. companies from a wide range of industries. Its market capitalisation accounts for ~70% of all U.S. listed equities.
NASDAQ Composite - Tracks around 3,000 companies listed on the NASDAQ Exchange. Most companies are involved in technology. The index is often confused with the NASDAQ-100 which only tracks the 100 largest companies, but covers about 90% of the composite’s market capitalisation.
How are the Dow Jones constituents selected?
Standard and Poors (S&P) are responsible for maintenance of the DJIA and related indices.
See the 2016 Dow Jones Methodology PDF for further details.
Dow Jones vs S&P/ASX 200 Index
A strong correlation exists between the Dow Jones and the S&P/ASX 200 Index.
The chart below does not take into account dividends paid or the effect of currency movements between the AUD and USD when calculating the performance return.
Historical Chart (100 Years)