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Only about 120 businesses, out of millions, have ever earned designation as Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks in the index's 119-year history. There, they've served as reflections of the nation's overall market health.
When index founder Charles Dow first calculated the Dow average in 1896, he used only 12 components – and each was a strictly industrial stock.
But times have changed.
In 1916, 12 Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks grew to 20 – presumably reflecting the rapid growth of the U.S. economy. In 1928, 20 increased to 30, and there it remains today.
Also over time the index's components expanded beyond industrial stocks. They now hail from the tech sector, energy, retail, healthcare, and more. Of the original twelve, only General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) remains as a component today. [You can see a list of where the other original 11 DJIA stocks are now here…]
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Dow components are chosen and maintained by the Averages Committee, which includes the managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, the head of Dow Jones Indexes research, and the head of CME Group research.
Its objective is to include the stocks of well-known, reputable U.S. companies that demonstrate sustained growth and are of interest to a large number of investors. But there are no set rules the Committee must follow when selecting Dow components.
Each average is reviewed at least once annually, but composition changes are rare for the sake of continuity. However, one such change happened less than a month ago on March 19, when Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) replaced AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T).
"As the largest corporation in the world and a leader in technology, Apple is the clear choice for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the most recognized stock market measure," Index Committee chair David M. Blitzer said of the change on March 6.
Here is the current list of all 30 DJIA companies, including the date each was added, and each company's stock symbol and exchange…
List of the Current Dow Jones Industrial Average Stocks
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