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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 ?
First we retrieve the list of proceedings matching the key words "object database Wang" based on a path-based indexer.
You can learn the principles and practice of indexing by doing the Society of Indexers (SI) distance learning course.
DNA sequencing by indexer walking relies on a set of 256 presynthesized adaptors that can be ligated to DNA fragments produced by type IIS restriction endonucleases that generate ambiguous 4-nt 5' overhangs.
Powered by ISYS Search, SolSearch Indexer can index content from document management systems (such as Interwoven), RDBMS systems (including SQL Server and Oracle), file systems, websites and email systems.
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A professional indexer since 1965, and with more than 600 indexes to her credit, Hazel K.
Torok has been active in the information industry for four decades, working as a teacher, researcher, indexer, and abstractor.
An indexer moves the pallet cars and molds through the line, including the set-on station of the weight and jacket shifter mechanism.
This did not surprise me, since they were repeaters of the AOA indexer in the cockpit.
Asyst's SMIF family of products include SMIF-LPT[TM], SMIF-LPI[TM], SMIF-VersaPort[TM], SMIF-Indexer[TM] (INX) and Narrow Reticle Indexer (NRI).
The addition of the indexer is unique on this type of antenna and allows scientists to easily and quickly change or "tune" the radio frequency of one or more antennas during any scientific experiment.
The company's melt indexer features an advanced heating system and many new and improved features for the measurement of melt flow rate or melt volume rate in quality control and research applications.