The Dow is welcoming three new components: Honeywell (based in Charlotte), Salesforce and Amgen. And it’s saying goodbye to ExxonMobil, Pfizer and Raytheon. Don’t worry, the Dow isn’t going to suddenly spike or tumble (well … not because of the new stocks, anyway). S&P Dow Indices, which oversees the Dow, changed the divisor used to generate the index’s total.
Still, the changes in the Dow are noteworthy because the index has lagged the broader stock market — badly. Many investors consider the Dow synonymous with the market, but it’s just 30 hand-picked stocks that don’t always do a great job portraying how stocks are performing.
The much broader S&P 500 is up 8.6% this year. The Dow is up only 0.4% and is still short of its all-time high from February (the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are at record highs now).
Continuing the trend, on Monday the Dow opened down 60 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 was flat and the Nasdaq rose 0.2%.
One of the leading factors in the Dow’s stumbles in 2020 is the lack of tech stocks. The S&P 500’s biggest — and therefore most heavily weighted — stocks are Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook. Of those, the Dow includes only Apple and Microsoft. That means it’s missed out on those companies’ electrifying gains — most notably Amazon, which has soared more than 80% this year.
By adding Salesforce, the Dow brings another tech company into the fold. But Salesforce is puny compared to the leading tech companies. Salesforce has been on a tear recently, and it was brought in particularly to help the Dow overcome the effect of Apple’s stock split Monday (more on that in a sec).
But it’s not enough to compensate: Apple’s huge gains this year have helped add more than 1,400 points to the Dow, analysts at Bespoke Investment Group pointed out in a recent research note. The stock split means the company’s weighting will drop from 12.1% to just under 3%, which means the Dow is poised to reap fewer benefits from Apple moving forward.
Apple shares are now about $400 cheaper after its 4-1 split, which went into effect Monday. Tesla’s stock is $1,800 cheaper after its 5-1 split.
The split will not change the value of any investor’s total holding of either company. It will just grow the number of shares making up that pot. So investors who held Apple will get three more shares for each share they held last week — but the value of each share will be far less. Tesla stockholders are getting four shares for each share they held.
The stock splits make the shares more affordable for everyday investors. Apple stock is now trading around $127 per share, after gaining 2% Monday. That’s compared to about $500 last week.
Tesla’s stock started trading at $444 per share Monday, up 0.4%. It was at around $2,200 last week.
Both stocks spiked in the run-up to their splits, suggesting the lower price could help attract buyers in the near future.
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