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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 ?
Fourteen-day-old plants were then used for measurement of growth parameters (leaf fresh weight, shoot and root length, number of lateral roots) and chlorophyll a, b, carotenoid leaf protein content and leaf peroxidase activity and three day old plants were used for measurement of mitotic index.
14) Vukovic and Sofradzija (1989) examining the genotoxic action of Lorsilan, Librium, a Mepbromat and Apaurin came to the conclusion that the first three have similar effects, and is manifested by lowering the mitotic index, the advent of C-mitosis, abnormal metaphases and anaphases and polyploidy.
Assessment and prognostic significance of mitotic index using the mitosis marker phosphohistone H3 in low and intermediate-grade infiltrating astrocytomas.
Livers were stained for mitotic index with haematoxylin and eosin (H & E), proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and IL-6.
Cells were harvested for mitotic index analysis by trypsinization.
The mitotic index was high, with up to 14-16 mitoses, which were often atypical, per high-power field.
105,125) In contrast to many soft tissue neoplasms where mitotic activity is expressed per 10 highpower fields (HPFs), the mitotic index in GISTs is typically expressed per 5 [mm.
Mitotic index (MI) shows insignificant variations between all groups including negative control but positive control shows decreasing in MI.
The cytotoxic effects of oily sludge on somatic onion cells were estimated on the basis of changes in mitotic index and other induced abnormalities.
Also, the mitotic index (MI) assay is used to characterize proliferating cells and to identify compounds that inhibit or induce mitotic progression.
It appears likely that the mitotic index of a melanoma increases as its blood supply increases (angiogenesis), making the mitotic index an important prognostic factor among individuals with high TABV counts.
The tumor mitotic index, a measure of the proportion of cancer cells actively dividing, was also most prominent during the activity phase of the circadian cycle.