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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 ?
Each stock is assigned to subsidiary indexes based on the location of the exchange on which it primarily is traded, and by the company's primary business.
Several taxpayers have used dual indexes with IPIC (e.
On the positive side, the two-track approach would provide indexes for users with diverse needs: a never-revised index for those for whom revisions would impose operational difficulties and a second revisable index that would be the best possible measure of changes in the cost of living.
Tables 1 and 2 show selected results of a laboratory study where two formulations were run at there TDI indexes, each at different tin catalyst levels.
Dow Jones Wilshire indexes are available on market-data vendor platforms-- many in real-time format--and on the Dow Jones Indexes (www.
Under the current regulations, a retailer may select indexes from the CPI or the PPI.
Russell's global-relative design eliminates the gaps and overlaps created by other index providers when investment managers benchmark portfolios to different regional indexes, and it helps investors avoid sampling bias inherent in indexes that only include selected stocks in different countries or regions.
Relationships between diffusion indexes of industrial production and percentage changes in the industrial production index are examined in James E.
The new OMX Baltic indexes will be calculated in Euro and as price (PI) and gross (GI) indexes.
The Census value-added-weighted production indexes are used at the four-digit Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) level, yielding measures of change in industry output from 1977 to 1982.
The CDX Indexes were formed from the merger of the North American TRAC-X and iBoxx credit derivative indexes in April 2004.
The patent pending indexing engine supports the leading backup software formats, including Tivoli Storage Manager, EMC-Legato and Veritas, and directly indexes the contents without the drudgery and complexity involved in manually restoring the tape contents and then rummaging through the files and emails to find the required documents.