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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 ?
Table 1: Computed safety indices for LTE Parameter Computed Value Therapeutic Index 1.99 Therapeutic Ratio 0.67 Safety Factor 0.02
Most antiarrhythmias have a narrow therapeutic index. These patients are the most likely to develop toxicity and, therefore, require more frequent monitoring.
Warfarin; anticoagulants; drug therapy; oral administration; narrow therapeutic index; risk-benefit ratio; risk assessment.
However, in drugs with a narrow therapeutic index (the FDA's preferred term is narrow therapeutic ratio), there is only a small difference between therapeutic and toxic plasma levels, usually less than a twofold difference between the median lethal dose and the median effective dose.
Scientists use something called the therapeutic index (the ratio of effective dose to toxic dose) as a way of defining how severe the side effects of a given drug would be.
The topics include screening approaches for genetic toxicity, the reliability of reactive metabolite and covalent binding assessments in predicting idiosyncratic drug toxicity, de-risking developmental toxicity-mediated drug attrition in the pharmaceutical business, predicting toxicology approaches for small molecule oncology drugs, the role of genetically modified mouse models in predictive toxicology, and mathematical modeling approaches to predicting the therapeutic index of antibody-based therapeutics.
The study analyzed data from the 2005 National Disease and Therapeutic Index, a survey of 4,000 office-based physicians conducted by IMS Health.
However, Leonard advises against alternating between generic and brand-name versions of narrow therapeutic index (NTI) drugs, such as warfarin (Coumadin), in which small dosage changes--even slight variability between products--could produce toxic results.
Lithium's narrow therapeutic index requires prudent monitoring.
The popular rave scene party drug [gamma]-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) has a tiny therapeutic index. "Not much more than a tablespoon [of GHB] will cause respiratory depression and, in some cases, death," said Dr.
These include cell pathway based target identification, rigorous, pharmaceutically relevant in vivo target validation, proprietary drug screens, and in vivo systems that provide key therapeutic index and drug safety information to guide the selection of optimal drug candidates for clinical development.

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