Nasdacks and Footsies? Aren’t they some kind of sneaky sexual games you play at drunken parties? Oh hang on, they’re those things they talk about on the news when I’m waiting for the weather to come on so I can know what to wear tomorrow. Financial Indices, that’s what they are.
Financial Indices are groups of stocks that are used to measure stock market performance. People with money smarts (investors) watch them to get a general picture of what’s up (and down) in the stock market. Main ones include:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an index of 30 Blue Chip (large, stable) companies in the US. Perhaps the most followed index of all.
The NASDAQ Composite. This is an electronic exchange where trading is computerized. It is generally where most stocks are bought and sold.
The All Ords is the main share index for the Australian Stock Exchange and is based on the performance of 500 major Australian companies.
The FTSE 100 is the share index of the 100 most highly capitalized (or large-cap, just to sound in-the-know) companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.
The S&P ASX 200 is an index of Australian stocks compiled by Standard & Poor’s, a company that researches and analyses stocks and bonds. An alternative index for Australia to the All Ords.
The S&P 500 is a Standard & Poor’s American index containing the stocks of 500 large-cap companies. The difference between this and the Dow is how the values are calculated and the types of companies listed. Some prefer this index as it includes a wider range of industries and represents total market value.
The Nikkei 225 is the market index for the Tokyo Stock Exchange. It is calculated daily by the Nikkei Newspaper.
Rightio, maybe I should have another look at what my shares are doing (given that they were a thirtieth birthday present and I don’t even know how many I have). Who knows, maybe I will take so much interest I will buy more. Am I on my way to sensibility? Or extra cents? If anyone reading this works the stock exchange can you give a beginner a tip? Thx. xx