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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 ?
Association between visible biofilm, expressed by the simplified index (BF1), and gingival bleeding, expressed by the gingival index and by the mean percentage of bleeding surfaces in a group of Brazilian pre-school children.
The relationship between occupation and gingival index showed that there was no association between the two variables (p-value 0.66).
Gingival index score showed increased gingival inflammation in removable partial denture wearers which is in agreement with previously reported study by Samir A Qudah.3 Same results were concluded by Yousuf and Ilsa study which reported significant increase in gingival and plaque index that is mild Inflammation was found in teeth contact with denture.2 Bergam et al study showed increased periodontal status which support the results of this study.12
Gingival index showed significant reduction in Chlorhexidine than Triphala group and control group with p-0.06.
In present study gingival index according to gender was assessed which shows that out of 189 male participants 168 (88.89%) had gingivitis and out of 161 female subjects, 136 (84.5%) had gingivitis.
Selected sample of school-children were examined for plaque and gingivitis by using Loe and Silness plaque and gingival index.
Clinical parameters i.e plaque index, calculus index, gingival index, clinical attachment level and papillary bleeding index of all the selected subjects were recorded.
Causality is attributed to the gingival inflammation induced by increasingly virulent pathogenic microflora in undisturbed dental plaque biofilms, as reproducibly demonstrated by LAle et al4,5 where oral hygiene habits modification is a difficult task.6,7 The Gingival Index grades the gingiva on the mesial, distal, buccal, and lingual surfaces of the teeth.