What is the Dow Jones Industrial Average?


The Dow Jones Industrial Average is one of the most widely followed stock market indexes. The Index represents 30 large and well-known U.S. companies covering all industries with the exception of transportation and utilities. Stocks are selected by a committee that consists of three people from Standard & Poor's and two editors of The Wall Street Journal. To be eligible, a stock must be a member of the S&P 500 Index. The index is price weighted rather than weighted by market capitalization. Changes to the Index are made on an as-needed basis. There is no annual or semi-annual reconstitution. Rather, changes in response to corporate actions and market developments can be made at any time. The 30 stocks are listed on our webpage stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

GISC sectors

On our website, we use the GICS sector classification system to classify stocks into sectors. Let's look at the current breakout of the Dow Jones Industrial Average by sector:

Total marketDJIA
GISC Sector# of StocksMarket cap% # of StocksMarket cap%
Communication Services157$4,709,140,518,38513.2%2$430,351,032,7005.3%
Consumer Discretionary429$4,145,924,674,70811.6%3$555,654,286,9606.9%
Consumer Staples143$2,410,319,054,2216.8%4$864,341,106,10010.7%
Health Care832$4,888,903,155,08513.7%4$1,036,807,577,80012.8%
Information Technology515$8,783,519,201,98524.7%6$4,055,848,612,17550.1%
Real Estate216$1,214,698,590,5953.4%0$00.0%
Total3,981$35,618,646,349,910100% 30$8,090,600,569,345100%

When we say "total market" in this article, we are talking about all common stocks, REITs and mortgage REITs of U.S. companies that trade on the U.S. stock market. So that excludes MLPs, preferred stocks, ADRs, and investment funds, and the common stocks of non-US companies that trade on the U.S. stock market. In terms of market capitalization, the Dow currently captures 22.7% of the total market.

Size Categories

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is considered to be a "large cap" or "large capitalization" stock index. But as explained in our article size categories, there is no standard definition of what makes up a "large cap" stock. Each of the major index providers (MSCI, S&P, NASDAQ, FTSE Russell) uses a different approach to build "large cap" indexes. On our website, we use a cutoff of $10 billion to determine a large cap stock. This is a just a widely used rule of thumb that we have also chosen to use. Similarly, a "mid cap" stock under our definition is a stock with a market capitalization between $2 billion and $10 billion.

Let's look at the stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average based on the size categories we use:

DJIATotal market
Size Category# of StocksMarket cap% # of StocksMarket cap%
Large cap30$8,090,600,569,345100.0%526$30,761,253,346,58586.4%
Mid cap0$00.0%802$3,591,187,258,37510.1%
Small cap0$00.0%1,220$1,110,639,652,7173.1%
Micro cap0$00.0%1,427$155,566,092,2330.4%
Total30$8,090,600,569,345100% 3,981$35,618,646,349,910100%

Dividend Yield

Using the data in our database as of today, here are the current market capitalization weighted average dividend yields of the Dow compared to the S&P 500 Index, NASDAQ-100 Index, Russell 1000 Index, the Russell 2000 Index (i.e. small cap stocks) and the stock market as a whole:

CategoryStock CountAverage Dividend Yield
S&P 5005051.86%
Russell 10009951.84%
Russell 20001,9491.53%
Total market3,9811.73%

The Russell 2000 Index consists of the smallest 2,000 U.S. common stocks in the Russell 3000 Index, which includes the largest 3,000 U.S. common stocks based on market capitalization. The Russell 2000 Index is one of the most popular "small cap" indexes.


Let's look at the performance of the Dow using DIA, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF. As explained above, the DOW consists of large cap stocks. How does the performance of the Dow compare to the S&P 500 Index, the most popular large cap stock market index? Let's compare the performance of DIA to SPY, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF.

First, let's compare the market price of DIA to SPY:

Second, let's compare the total return of DIA to SPY:

Note that on our website, when you see a "-TR" symbol, such a symbol is a symbol we invented that references our calculations of the total return of an exchange traded fund (ETF). The total return symbol, or "-TR" symbol, includes the market price performance plus any dividends from that ETF reinvested.

The takeaway from the above charts is that the stocks in the Dow have performed really well in recent years. One way to visualize this is to look at a "ratio symbol" that shows the market price of DIA divided by the market price of SPY:

ETFs that track

Because the Dow Jones Industrial Average is so widely followed, there are a lot of exchange traded funds ("ETFs") that track the Dow:

SymbolDescriptionInception DateLeverage FactorMarket capAction
DDMProShares Ultra Dow30 ETF06/19/20062.00$302,981,500Analyze
DIASPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF01/13/19981.00$20,209,865,108Analyze
DOGProShares Short Dow30 ETF06/19/2006-1.00$492,215,842Analyze
DXDProShares UltraShort Dow30 ETF07/11/2006-2.00$198,110,532Analyze
SDOWUltraPro Short Dow30 (3x) ETF02/09/2010-3.00$734,988,234Analyze
UDOWUltraPro Dow30 (3x) ETF02/09/20103.00$724,072,000Analyze

All data is a live query from our database. The wording was last updated: 02/21/2019.

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