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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.
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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 ?
Results indicated higher phagocytic index of treated groups (at dose rate of 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight), which may be due to reticuloendothelial system stimulation (Neha and Mishra, 2011; Hajra et al., 2012).
The F ratio values of the phagocytic index were 66.27 and 347.68 for the WBC count (p < 0.001).
The hierarchy was determined as follows: phagocytic index (0.67) > WBC count (0.49) > Antibody titer (0.32), as per the trend line analysis, which has suggested that the dose-response relationship is directly proportional; more in the case of phagocytic index, moderate in case of WBC count and least in the antibody titer.
The phagocytic index (PI) was statistically significantly higher on hour 72 in Group I (p<0.001), (p<0.05), (p<0.001) as compared to dogs from Group C.
Changes in percent of neutrophil phagocytosis (PP), phagocytic index (PI) and serum naturally occurring antibodies (NAbs) in healthy dogs (Group C), dogs infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Group 0) and infected dogs treated with: enrofloxacin (Group I); feverfew (Group II) and feverfew+enrofloxacin (Group III).
The apoptotic markers viz., caspase-3 activity, phagocytic index, morphological changes, and DNA fragmentation were assayed.
The ability of the mussel's hemocytes to engulf foreign particles, that is, phagocytosis was evaluated by determining phagocytic rate (the percentage of hemocytes that phagocytose particles) and phagocytic index (the average number of particles phagocytosed per hemocyte) according to the method of Carballal et al.
It was expressed as the fraction of phagocytizing platelets and the phagocytic index.
virginica and Crassostrea gigas, high hemolymph protein and lysozyme levels were found during the period of high food availability (Chu & La Peyre 1989), and high hemocyte mortality and low phagocytic index were detected during the period of postspawning and high water temperature (Duchemin et al.
A high value of the phagocytic index indicates an increased efficiency of the immune system (Galloway & Depledge 2001).
Similar pattern of decrease was observed over the experimental day in phagocytic index (PI) with relatively constant PI after 20 days.