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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.
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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.
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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.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.


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.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


(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

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Similarly, exposure index for mobile communication recorded by the PEM for 24 h showed a moderate to high correlation with that obtained from the operator's log data.
However, this index was very highly correlated with the neighborhood poverty exposure index among the 74 metros included in our analysis (r = .96), so we opted to use this simpler, more intuitive measure.
This was particularly important for the relationship between the exposure index and abalone density or mean SL if the exposure index was to be used to exclude sites before future field work would be initiated.
The personal exposure index for the manikin in position B is about 1.0, which is also the value that can be obtained with mixing ventilation.
They were identical in all respects save one: in the first, the Exposure to Political Media Index was included among the predictors, while in the second, the Attention to Media Stories about Public Affairs Index was substituted for the exposure index.
When student reports of exposure and teacher reports of implementation were analyzed at the teacher level, rather than being aggregated to the district level, the correlation between the overall student exposure index and teachers' reports of implementation was .35 (p [is less than] .01, one-tailed) for completeness and .46 (p [is less than] .001, one-tailed) for fidelity.
A case of mercury exposure was defined as a urine spot mercury level above the ACGIH biologic exposure index of 20.0 [micro]g/g creatinine in a facility worker.
The mean sun exposure index (hours per week of total body exposure with no sunscreen used) was 11.1 hours.
[c.sub.2] is now recommended as the target exposure index for the therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) of CsA (2-8).
Commonly recognized terms include the exposure index (EI) or sensitivity (S-number).
An exposure index was [TABULAR DATA FOR TABLE 3 OMITTED] developed for each program to standardize the ratings across programs.