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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 ?
The army and police are exerting big efforts to regain complete control of the Sinai," said Sisi.
Tuesday the two leaders also agreed "on further military cooperation between our two countries given the current circumstances" in Egypt, Sisi said.
Sisi said that UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Emir of Abu Dhabi and the commander of the Union Defence Force, and his brothers had followed Sheikh Zayed's path and ensured that relations between the UAE and Egypt must always remain special.
Al Sisi noted the landscape of terrorism is expanding more than at any time before and warned against the deviated religious rhetoric, stressing the vital role of the media in heightening public awareness and exposing the violent, extremist ideology.
After Sisi deposed him and became Egypt's de facto ruler, security forces mounted one of the toughest crackdowns on the Brotherhood in its 86-year history.
Islamists and leftists therefore make up the majority of the 55-60pc who did not vote for Sisi this time - and that is good news for him, because the two groups have very little in common.
Al Sisi, who was appointed as defence minister by Mursi last year, is under growing pressure from his backers to run for president in elections expected to be held in mid-2014.
In Kiev, Mohammed al-Assad, the Palestinian envoy in Ukraine, told a news conference that Abu Sisi "was not a member of any organization.
In a joint press conference in Paris, Sisi noted his discussions with Hollande were "fruitful" and reflected unified opinions regarding bilateral, regional and international relations.
Sisi in turn thanked Putin for being the first leader to invite him for a visit outside the Arab world since his swearing-in as head of state.
Prominent pro-government commentators in Turkey interpret many developments (such as the Sisi coup and the Gezi events in Turkey) as interrelated events aimed at toppling the Erdoy-an regime in Ankara.
Through phone calls to Sisi, donations of cash and oil products, supportive statements and his visit to Cairo, Abdullah has made clear his approval of former army chief Sisi as president.