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The performance of a predetermined set of securities, used for comparison purposes. Such sets may be based on published indexes or may be customized to suit an investment strategy.


A standard against which a security's performance is compared. A benchmark is usually an index of securities of the same or similar class. Stocks are usually compared against stocks; bonds against bonds, etc. Another type of benchmark considers securities according to industry: a telecommunications stock may be compared to other telecommunications stocks. Likewise, mid-cap securities may be benchmarked against other mid-cap securities. Some indices, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500, are considered to be benchmarks for the wider economy.


A standard by which something is measured. For example, bond yields are generally compared to benchmark yields on U.S. Treasury securities of similar maturity. Mutual fund performance is often compared to changes in the Standard & Poor's 500 Stock Index.


An investment benchmark is a standard against which the performance of an individual security or group of securities is measured.

For example, the average annual performance of a class of securities over time is a benchmark against which current performance of members of that class and the class itself is measured.

When the benchmark is an index tracking a specific segment of the market, the changing value of the index not only measures the strength or weakness of its segment but is the standard against which the performance of individual investments within the segment are measured.

For example, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P 500) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are the most widely followed benchmarks, or indicators, of the US market for large-company stocks and the funds that invest in those stocks.

There are other indexes that serve as benchmarks for both broader and narrower segments of the US equities markets, of international markets, and of other types of investments such as bonds, mutual funds, and commodities.

Individual investors and financial professionals often gauge their market expectations and judge the performance of individual investments or market sectors against the appropriate benchmarks. In a somewhat different way, the changing yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond is considered a benchmark of investor attitudes.

For example, a lower yield is an indication that investors are putting money into bonds, driving up the price, possibly because they expect stock prices to drop. Conversely, a higher yield indicates investors are putting their money elsewhere.

Originally the term benchmark was a surveyor's mark indicating a specific height above sea level.


A permanent reference mark,usually set in concrete or iron and used to establish the elevation above sea level or certain corners in a surveying system. All other measurements in the area should be checked for accuracy relative to the nearest benchmark, preferably against several nearby benchmarks to establish redundancy.

References in periodicals archive ?
What contributions did Bapco make to the national economy of Bahrain during the year?
Bapco is maximising crude runs through operational availability of units
I am confident that together, we can work towards achieving bigger milestones and towards scripting a brighter future for the refinery, for Bapco, and for Bahrain," he said.
The goal is how best to develop an optimum refinery configuration beyond 2018-19 that would add value and ensure Bapco remains competitive and profitable in this challenging industry segment, he says.
Within the coming weeks we, hopefully, will achieve three million employee hours without a lost time injury for Bapco and contractor personnel," he added.
Bapco previously received the International Safety Award 2008 from the BSC.
Bapco is taking positive steps to plug vital skills gaps in key disciplines such as chemical engineering, geology and petroleum engineering with a revised scholarship scheme for 25 high-achieving Bahrainis launched recently at the Bapco Club in Awali.
With this new benchmark BAPCo continues to welcome feedback and input from the community.
Manama: Bapco, Bahrain's integrated national oil company wholly-owned by nogaholding, has formed a strategic joint venture with Greenergy, a large-scale blender of petrol in the UK.
BAPCO launched its current five-year strategic plan in 2010 with the main focus on refinery expansion, enhanced trading in the international markets, improved human resource policies and processes, and the intensification of oil and gas exploration activities in the country.
BAPCO was given the Award of Excellence for the best industrial project in the field of water for the year 2014 at the award ceremony organized by Global Water Summit 2014 under the theme of (Water for Growth), which was recently held in Paris.
The opening of new station is in line with Bapco's directives aimed at enhancing the natural gas supply in the kingdom and meeting the growing demand for diesel in the local market," remarked Bapco chairman and acting chief executive Adel Almoayyed, after inaugurating the facility.