Sunday, September 6, 2020

Vox Popoli: Not your father's Dow Jones

This sort of regular reshuffling is why there is no point tracking the Dow Jones Industrial Average, or any other stock market index, over time:

Exxon is being kicked out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average index, where it has had a place since 1928. The reason: the Dow needed to make space for other, more valuable companies – and Apple’s stock split, CBS News reports.

The change will be effective on August 31.

Exxon, which was the oldest member of the index for the last two years after Dow removed GE, has been one of the most valuable companies in the US and the world for decades. That is until Big Tech showed up and began changing the world, its stock reflecting this change by swelling market caps.

Energy, which featured solidly on the index and in people’s lives a few decades ago, is being booted out by technology – Exxon’s replacement on the DJIA is a software company, Salesforce.

It was the realization that stock market numbers simply were not what I had been taught they were that first set me upon the path of becoming a stock market contrarian. The annual turnover in the NASDAQ is often on the order of five percent, which renders comparisons from one year to the next, let alone to previous decades, entirely meaningless.

Bet at the casino if you like, so long as you understand that it is no more "investing" than playing the slots at Caesar's Palace.