The Evolution of Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) Companies List
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The Evolution of Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) Companies List

5 Min.

The DJIA, created in 1896 by Charles Dow, originally comprised 12 influential American companies. Over the years, it evolved to include 30 companies, with several changes in its composition, reflecting shifts in the American economy.

Basics

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is an iconic stock market index, and its history is intertwined with the evolution of American industry and commerce. This narrative explores the origin and transformation of the DJIA components, shedding light on the influential companies that once shaped it and those that define it today.

Original DJIA Companies

Dow, Jones & Co., a financial news bureau, was established in 1896 by Charles Dow, a prominent American journalist, and his colleague, Edward Davis Jones. Charles Dow observed that stocks tended to move in a consistent direction as investors reacted to events and expectations. He sought to quantify this daily market movement.

To accomplish this, Dow selected 12 of the largest and most influential corporations of his time. These companies were giants within their respective sectors and often reflected the demand for essential raw materials in the American economy, such as coal, sugar, and oil. The original 12 DJIA companies were:

  1. American Cotton Oil
  2. American Sugar
  3. American Tobacco
  4. Chicago Gas
  5. Distilling & Cattle Feeding
  6. General Electric
  7. Laclede Gas
  8. National Lead
  9. North American
  10. Tennessee Coal and Iron
  11. U.S. Leather
  12. U.S. Rubber

General Electric stands out as the only company that retained its place on the DJIA under its original name since the index's inception. Others were either dismantled, acquired, dissolved, or relegated to subsidiary status over the years.

A Brief History of the DJIA

The DJIA made its debut on May 26, 1896, in The Wall Street Journal. It marked a historic moment as the first-ever index of stock market activity, providing investors with a benchmark for gauging market performance.

Over time, the American economy witnessed significant shifts. Electricity emerged as the dominant energy source, leading to technological advancements and the rise of consumer goods and technology-based services and products. Consequently, the composition of the DJIA changed to reflect these transformations.

Salesforce, Amgen, and Honeywell joined the DJIA on August 24, 2020, taking the place of Exxon-Mobil, Pfizer, and Raytheon Technologies. The DJIA components are periodically revised to ensure that they continue to represent bellwether companies.

DJIA Companies in 1928

The expansion of the DJIA to include 30 companies occurred in 1928. While the list of companies has changed over the years, the index's primary objective remains to represent the U.S. stock markets and the broader economy. Here are the first 30 DJIA stocks following the 1928 expansion:

Company

Type

Allied ChemicalChemical manufacturing company
American CanPackaging company
American SmeltingMining and refining company
American SugarSugar manufacturing and refining company
American TobaccoTobacco company
Atlantic RefiningPetroleum refining company
Bethlehem SteelSteel production company
ChryslerAutomobile manufacturing company
General ElectricMultinational conglomerate
General Motors CorporationAutomobile manufacturing company
General Railway SignalRailway signaling equipment manufacturer
GoodrichTire manufacturing company
International HarvesterAgricultural machinery company
International NickelMining company
Mack TruckTruck manufacturing company
Nash MotorsAutomobile manufacturing company
North AmericanUtility company
Paramount PublixMotion picture theater chain
Postum IncorporatedFood and beverage company
Radio CorporationCommunications and electronics company
Sears Roebuck & CompanyRetail company
Standard Oil (N.J.)Oil and gas company
Texas CompanyOil and gas company
Texas Gulf SulphurMining company
Union CarbideChemical manufacturing company
U.S. SteelSteel production company
Victor Talking MachinePhonograph and record company
Westinghouse ElectricElectrical equipment company
WoolworthRetail company
Wright AeronauticalAircraft engine manufacturer

DJIA Companies in 2023

Company

Type

SalesforceCloud-based software company
Procter & GambleConsumer goods company
Dow IncMaterials science company
AmgenBiotechnology company
3MDiversified technology company
IBMInformation technology company
MerckPharmaceutical company
American ExpressFinancial services company
McDonald'sFast food restaurant chain
BoeingAerospace company
Coca-ColaBeverage company
CaterpillarConstruction equipment manufacturer
JPMorgan ChaseFinancial services company
Walt DisneyEntertainment conglomerate
Johnson & JohnsonHealthcare company
WalmartRetail corporation
Home DepotHome improvement retailer
IntelSemiconductor company
MicrosoftTechnology company
HoneywellIndustrial conglomerate
VerizonTelecommunications company
ChevronEnergy corporation
Cisco SystemsNetworking hardware company
Travelers Cos.Insurance company
UnitedHealth GroupHealth insurance company
Goldman SachsInvestment banking company
NikeSportswear company
VisaFinancial services company
AppleTechnology company
Walgreens Boots AlliancePharmacy store chain

Conclusion

The evolution of the Dow Jones Industrial Average companies list reflects the changes in the American economy over the years. Starting with 12 influential corporations in 1896, the list expanded to include 30 companies, representing various sectors. Some original companies, such as General Electric, stood the test of time, while others underwent acquisitions or dissolution. The DJIA serves as a benchmark for market performance and continues to be revised to include bellwether companies. The current list includes prominent names like Salesforce, Procter & Gamble, IBM, and Apple, showcasing the dynamic nature of the American stock market and economy.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)
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