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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 ?
We have gone through this explanation of the components of the alternative human development index (AHDI) only to understand why the Arab countries almost by definition will be at the bottom of the scale of human development as measured by that index.
This is the second California Human Development Report, which measures well-being and access to opportunity for residents across the Golden State using the American Human Development Index (HD Index), a composite measure of health, education, and earnings.
Such a rank boosted its position and qualified the Kingdom to join high human development index countries.
Levels in human development continue to rise yet the pace has slowed for all regions and progress has been highly uneven, according to the latest Human Development Index (HDI) included in the 2014 Human Development Report Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience , published today by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Qatar ranked 36th globally among 187 countries in 2012, according to the Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Programme after it had ranked 57 in 1997.
As part of Red Strategy, some districts, low on Human Development Index have been picked up and integrated efforts to boost the routine immunization are undertaken there.
For the Agency, the GDP per capita and human development index are in line with peers, while financial depth and ease of doing business indicators compare favourably with peer medians.
Qatar has been placed high on the latest Human Development Index (HDI), above all other Arab countries and 31st internationally.
Bahous congratulated the Kingdom on its development achievements in terms of the Human Development Index, advancing to 34th place in 2014, becoming one of the Very High Developed countries.
Seven of the 10 most corrupt countries in sub-Saharan Africa are also in the bottom 10 on the human development index and infant mortality is twice as high in countries with the most corruption as in those with the least.
He is best known for his work on famine, poverty, and the Human Development Index.
One measure of how they're doing today is the Human Development Index (HDI), a number from 0 to 1, calculated by the United Nations based on life expectancy, education rates, and per capita gross domestic product (GDP).

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