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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.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.


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.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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.
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 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.

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


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.

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 ?
In the next five distances we find the pairwise relations between programs DYFESM, LINPACK, and ALAMOS.
HPL--A portable implementation of the high-performance Linpack benchmark for distruted-memory computers, version 1.0a.
NEC's Earth Simulator, which is running environmental simulations for the Japanese government, is still the top-ranked machine in both the IDC list and the Top 500 list that is based on Linpack.
Highly optimized legacy libraries like LAPACK, LINPACK, and BLAS are easily exploited to extend the performance and the range of the code's linear algebra capabilities.
Geekbench 2 also reveals a similar score as the Linpack test with a marginal difference of 5% among the Galaxy S4 siblings.
In addition to LINPACK, demonstrates high performance in all four benchmarks evaluating overall supercomputer performance
The system completed the LINPACK benchmark at 27.3TFLOPS, or 27.3tn mathematical computations per second.
The T2K system, as it is referred to, was able to achieve 76.4 teraflops on the standard Linpack benchmark, a measure of a system's floating point computing power.
ASCI Red has 9,632 333MHz Pentium II processors that collectively are rated at 2.4 teraflops on the Linpack Fortran benchmark commonly used to rank the processing capacity of supercomputers.
For the IDC Balanced Rating, SPECfp-rate-base2000, SPECint-rate-base2000 and Linpack Rmax results are used in the rating.
245, Example 5.5.1], it works well in practice and forms the basis of the LINPACK [Dongarra et al.