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


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 ?
Although I haven't run across such a case, it's reasonable to assume that a poor fit between grip and hand could cause the barrel to point down from where the index finger naturally points, instead of up as in this example.
Doctors stated that the index finger was most difficult to repair and required pins and the introduction of a blood vessel taken from the farmer's arm.
People whose ring and index fingers are close to the same length make better navigators, according to the research.
Thumb-triggered releases are a boon for any hunters with target panic, because the thumb is much less sensitive than the index finger. Punching off a shot is far less likely with a thumb-activated trigger.
Yukie Fujimoto, a mysterious woman in scarlet, points her index finger at the hapless hero.
Take the thumb and index finger of one hand and pinch or squeeze the fleshy part between the index finger and thumb of the opposite hand Hold for a bit and the pain should begin to subside.
Here one also found perverse metal prosthetics, such as the harness for an index finger that plays a key role in Schinwald's eccentric masterwork Dicitio pii (Dictation of the Blessings), 2001, a film driven by the logic of the unconscious and concerned with the power of gestures and the potential of the displeasing.
Here one can learn about the origin, use, and survival of the maniculum, the index finger which begins to be printed in the margins of books in the sixteenth century.
So it is not like the system has to identify everything about your hand in great detail to figure out the gesture." Chen adds, "We started out with simple things like using the index finger to point since it is one of the most natural gestures.
Which is longer: the index finger (the finger you use to point with-technically the second digit, counting the thumb) or the ring finger (the fourth digit)?
Note: Had the holder used his right index finger to set up the ball, his left hand would have been a distraction for the kicker as it slid away from the ball.