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Statistical composite that measures changes in the economy or in financial markets, often expressed in percentage changes from a base year or from the previous month. Indexes measure the ups and downs of stock, bond, and some commodities markets, in terms of market prices and weighting of companies in the index.


A statistical measure of the value of a certain portfolio of securities. The portfolio may be for a certain class of security, a certain industry, or may include the most important securities in a given market, among other options. The value of an index increases when the aggregate value of the underlying securities increases, and decreases when the aggregate value decreases. An index may track stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and any other security or investment vehicle, including other indices. An index's value may be weighted; for example, securities with higher prices or greater market capitalization may affect the index's value more than others. One of the most prominent examples of an index is the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which is weighted for price and tracks 30 stocks important in American markets.


The relative value of a variable in comparison with itself on a different date. Many security price indicators such as the Standard & Poor's series and the New York Stock Exchange series are constructed as indexes. Also called stock index. See also base period.


To adjust a variable by a selected measure of relative value. For example, it has been proposed that an investor's basis on a security be indexed for changes in consumer prices so that only real increases in value will be taxed. Also called tax indexing. See also subindex.


An index reports changes up or down, usually expressed as points and as a percentage, in a specific financial market, in a number of related markets, or in an economy as a whole.

Each index -- and there are a large number of them -- measures the market or economy it tracks from a specific starting point. That point might be as recent as the previous day or many years in the past.

For those reasons, indexes are often used as performance benchmarks against which to measure the return of investments that resemble those tracked by the index.

A market index may be calculated arithmetically or geometrically. That's one reason two indexes tracking similar markets may report different results. Further, some indexes are weighted and others are not.

Weighting means giving more significance to some elements in the index than to others. For example, a market capitalization weighted index is more influenced by price changes in the stock of its largest companies than by price changes in the stock of its smaller companies.


(1) A statistical indicator that measures changes in the economy in general or in particular areas.An example is the cost-of-living index.(2) A reference point against which measurements are taken for purposes of making future adjustments.An adjustable-rate mortgage might begin with an interest rate of 6 percent and provide that it will increase or decrease in a like percentage as the increase or decrease between today's quoted price for 10-year U.S.Treasury bonds and the price on the loan's annual anniversary date.We would say that 10-year T-bonds are the index.

Some leading loan indices include

• Wall Street Journal prime
• Federal discount rate
• Fed funds rate
• 11th District Cost of Funds
• 10-year Treasuries
• One-year LIBOR

References in periodicals archive ?
Implementation of the developed method of preparative production of pectolytic enzyme enables significant increase not only in the degree of pectinase purification--purification degree in terms of color index up to 99%, but also the total yield of enzyme activity--more than by 6 times in terms of specific activity.
Skin color index was determined by visual scale described by Balbino (1997), assigning score 1 for fruits with up to 10% of yellow skin, score 2 for fruits with 10 to 25%, score 3 for fruits with 25 to 40%, score 4 for fruits with 40 to 55%, score 5 for fruits with 55 to 70%, score 6 for fruits with 70 to 85% and score 7 for fruits with 85 to 100% of yellow skin.
A moderate negative correlation was observed between the calcium content in the blackberry fruits and the color index a*, which can be observed for the Ebano cultivar that presented redder fruits with lower calcium contents.
A color index was recorded according to the following rating scale (Shorter and Joyce, 1998): 1= 100% green; 2= 75% green; 3= 50% green and 50% yellow; 4= 75% yellow; 5= 100% yellow.
It can be clearly seen that the color index difference became greater as the extrusion number was increased, indicating the production of darker compounds.
This allowed a color index (CX) to be calculated from [[SIGMA](seeds per class x class number)]/(total number of seeds evaluated).
In both years, the B-V color index of Saturn was 1.
Skin color was evaluated by measuring at two opposing points on the equatorial line using a colorimeter (cR-300, Minolta) and was expressed by color index (CI) calculated using the equation proposed by JIMENEz-cuESTA et al.
The color index was calculated from the average of transformed HSB parameters.
Seed from the eight selections made that year had a Munsell color index (Munsell Color Charts for soils and plant tissues, Macbeth, Baltimore, MD) of 10YR-6/8 (brownish yellow).