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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 ?
Information on outcomes (birth weight, birth length, and ponderal index) and potential confounders (e.g., demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, life-style factors, and gynecological and obstetrical information) was obtained via either medical records or in-person interviews.
Ponderal index for discrimination between symmetric and asymmetric growth restriction: percentiles for neonates from 30 weeks to 43 weeks of gestation.
Maternal urinary arsenic was inversely associated with infant adiposity measured as ponderal index, and the associations appeared limited to women who were overweight or obese prepregnancy.
Also, we did not find evidence that the results of the maternal glucose challenge test or maternal hyperglycemia status modified the association between maternal urinary tAs and infant ponderal index (data not shown).
Because maternal leptin concentrations are related to maternal body mass index and cord blood concentrations are related to ponderal index at birth, the positive association between leptin concentrations in maternal serum and cord blood in our study population might reflect a positive association between maternal and fetal body weight.
In stratified analyses (see Supplemental Material, Table S3), we observed a statistically significant association between MeHg with ponderal index among the subgroup of males only [[beta]pln(MeHg) = -0.063 (g/[cm.sup.3]) x 100, 95% CI: -0.119, -0.007]; between MeHg with head circumference among the subgroup of infants with cord serum n-3 HUFAs > 50.4 [micro]g/mL [[beta]pln(MeHg) = -0.30 cm, 95% CI: -0.60, -0.01]; and between MeHg with length among the subgroup of infants with cord serum n-3 HUFAs [less than or equal to] 50.4 [micro]g/mL [P ln(MeHg) = 0.46 cm, 95% CI: 0.005, 0.91].
Increasing IHg was related to statistically significant increases in birth weight and ponderal index (data not shown).
Length among girls was inversely associated with maternal concentrations of [gamma]-HCH (lindane) and subsequently higher ponderal index ([beta] = 0.09 g/[cm.sup.3]; 95% CI: 0.03, 0.16).
Showing the neonatal measurements- S.NO NEONATAL GROUP OF SUBJECT MEAUSUREMENTS NORMAL BIRTH WEIGHT (Mean + S.D.) 1 Head Circumference 32.35 [+ or -] 1.44 2 Chest Circumference 29.71 [+ or -] 1.27 3 Ponderal Index .226955 [+ or -] .0145 (gm/cm3) 4.
The markers of fetal growth studied were birth weight, birth length, gestational age, and ponderal index. We constructed stratumweighted adjusted linear regression models to explore associations of each birth outcome with maternal serum concentrations of PFOA, PFOS, and PFHxS.
We used multiple linear regression and logistic regression to assess the effects of proximity to the WTC site and stage of pregnancy when the event occurred, on gestational duration, birth weight, birth length, head circumference, ponderal index, and sex-specific small size for gestational age (SGA) among term deliveries (Alexander et al.
Infant ponderal index, a measure of proportionality of growth, was calculated as (birth weight in grams x 100)/[(length in centimeters).sup.3].