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That's because one of the goals of the "Averages Committee" – the folks who determine the make-up of the 30-stock index – is to pick companies that represent top U.S. industries.
The task is ongoing, of course. As the U.S. economy has evolved, so has the list of Dow Jones Industrial Average companies.
Apple, as one of the most successful consumer tech companies in the world, had earned a spot in the DJIA. AT&T, once synonymous with telecommunications, doesn't have the clout it once did.
The shift comes less than two years after three new stocks became DJIA companies. Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), and Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) replaced Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) in September of 2013.
It's clear the Averages Committee has a preference for dynamic, growing companies as much as it loses interest in those that lose even some of their luster.
Right now, several big and growing U.S. companies are prime candidates to join the DJIA when the committee makes its next move. And looking at the current list of Dow Jones Industrial Average companies, it's not hard to find those most likely to get the boot.
So how do you determine a DJIA candidate?
The Criteria for Dow Jones Industrial Average Companies
While Dow selection is subjective, the Averages Committee does use some general criteria to ensure only top blue-chip sticks make it in.
Eligible DJIA stocks must be part of the Standard & Poor's 500, with the exception of transportation and utilities stocks (as they each have their own Dow averages). Dow Jones stocks must also be incorporated and headquartered in the United States, with most of its revenue coming from the U.S.
In addition to contributing to a mix representative of the U.S. economy, the S&P Dow Jones Indices methodology lays out these guidelines: "A stock typically is added only if the company has an excellent reputation, demonstrates sustained growth, and is of interest to a large number of investors."
Another quirk of the Dow Jones is that changes are made as needed. So you can have changes come less than two years apart, as we've just seen. Or the index can stand pat for many years, as occurred between 1959 and 1976.
But with shifts in the U.S. economy coming ever more rapidly, changes to the DJIA are more likely sooner rather than later.
Three stocks in particular have the best shot to be next to join the Dow Jones…
Three Top Prospects to Become DJIA Companies
About the Author
Dave has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.
Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.