General presentation of the Dow Jones Industrial Average:
First we shall take a few minutes to take a close look at the Dow Jones Index and its role. This stock market index was originally created in 1896 by the economist Charles Dow. Since its creation the DJ30 index has experienced a strong expansion and over time has become one of the most traded indices on the American stock markets next to the Nasdaq, the S & P 500 and the Russell 2000.
Given the age and history of this stock market index, the Dow Jones also enables an overview and understanding of the historical growth of the American economy over more than a century.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average which is more commonly known as the Dow Jones 30 is a well established and respected index on the American stock markets. As indicated by its name it is composed of the 30 top American companies in terms of stock market capital.
Concerning the calculation of the Dow Jones index rate it should be noted that this index is weighted according to the value of the company shares of which it is composed, not according to the companies’ stock market capitals as is the case with the Japanese Nikkei 225 stock market index. This fact is important as it directly influences the weight each company can have in the calculation of this index.
The Dow Jones is not only followed by stock market investors, it is also monitored by economists worldwide as it is one of the oldest indicators of the American economic health. It is therefore considered that a rise in the rate of the Dow Jones Index represents a growing American economy whereas, to the contrary, a fall in the rate of this index indicates a crisis or recession of this economy.
Although the Dow Jones is particularly popular with investors, the same is true for some of the assets of which it is composed which are highly sought after and traded throughout the world such as Nike, Walt Disney, McDonalds and Goldman Sachs. In fact, all activity sectors are represented in this exceptional stock market index.
What is the composition of the Dow Jones 30 stock market index?
We shall now examine the composition of this American stock market index, this means the companies that are included in it. As indicated by its name, the DJ 30 is composed of 30 American companies and these vary of course over time. In fact, we note that from the 12 companies of which it was originally composed when it was created, only one of these is still included. This is the General Electric Company, previously named the Edison Company, which has been included without interruption in this index since November 1907.
Let us now look at the 30 companies that comprise this stock market index as well as their respective weights in the calculation of this index as at the beginning of 2021.
Of course, this list will probably change over time given that the composition of the Dow Jones stock market index is revised regularly.
What are the opening days and periods of the Dow Jones Index?
As you can imagine and given that the Dow Jones is an American Index, the trading hours and the quotation times of this index are not the same as those of the European markets and stock market indices.
Concerning the time when it is possible to invest in the rate of the Dow Jones index, the opening hours are from 9.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time. The opening of the American stock markets trading period is in fact when the Asian markets have already been closed for two hours. However part of the American trading session overlaps the European trading sessions as the European financial marketplaces are still open when trading starts in the USA. These trading periods when the American and European markets are both open simultaneously are particularly volatile with traders from both areas extremely present and active, the volumes traded are also of course very high.
We then note a general downturn in trades at around 10 p.m. European time until the Asian markets open. However, given that the trading on the Dow Jones is completed through the use of derived products it is possible to take position at almost any time on its rate.
Attention should also be paid to the opening and closing days of the American stock markets which may not be the same as those of the European markets in certain cases. Of course, the quotations for the U.S. market are available from Monday to Friday with a break over the weekend. The American stock markets are also closed on the American bank holidays which are as follows:
- The 1st January for New Year
- The 15th January for Martin Luther King Day
- The 19th February for President’s Day.
- The 30th March for Good Friday
- The 28th May for Memorial Day.
- The 4th July for Independence Day
- The 3rd September for Labor Day
- The 22nd November for Thanksgiving
- The 25th December for Christmas Day
It should be noted here that the economic publications in the United States are also not released at the same time as in Europe. On the market brokers online trading platforms you will find economic calendars that will enable you to learn when the major publications and announcements are expected from the American government. Certain events such as the publication of economic figures, political events or meetings of the Fed are particularly followed by investors and can sometimes occur when the European markets are closed.