S&P 500 (^GSPC)


The S&P is an example of a cap-weighted index. Most index funds will mirror the cap-weighted index by buying shares of holdings to make the stocks with the largest capitalization the largest holding by percentage in the index fund.

You can narrow them down by looking at the minimum investment requirements. However, the Divisor's value is approximately 8. The resulting situation became acute in September , ushering in a period of unusual market volatility , encompassing record point swings in both directions and reaching the highest levels since

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SP overview: news and data on the S&P Banks Industry Group Index, from MarketWatch.

Less than a month later, it dropped to 1,, and would not see similar levels again for five years. In mid, the subprime mortgage crisis spread to the wider U.

The resulting situation became acute in September , ushering in a period of unusual market volatility , encompassing record point swings in both directions and reaching the highest levels since The index reached a nearly year low, closing at The entire drop from high in Oct to low in Mar was On April 29, , the index closed at On March 28, , it closed above the closing high from This would be the first of three point milestones in On February 17, , the index first closed above 2,, closing at 2, On February 25, it reached 2, At the end of , the index closed at 2, A period of over a year with no new record highs ended on July 11, closing at 2, This is similar to the Dow Jones Industrial Average , but different from others such as the Russell , which are strictly rule-based.

When considering the eligibility of a new addition, the committee assesses the company's merit using eight primary criteria: For example, in order to be added to the index, a company must satisfy the following liquidity-based size requirements: The index includes non-U.

These versions differ in how dividends are accounted for. The price return version does not account for dividends; it only captures the changes in the prices of the index components. The total return version reflects the effects of dividend reinvestment. Finally, the net total return version reflects the effects of dividend reinvestment after the deduction of withholding tax. The index has traditionally been capitalization-weighted ; that is, movements in the prices of stocks with higher market capitalizations the share price times the number of shares outstanding had a greater impact on the value of the index than do companies with smaller market caps.

The transition to float-adjusted capitalization-weighting was made in two steps, the first on March 18, and the second on September 16, Additionally, to remain indicative of the U. To prevent the value of the Index from changing merely as a result of corporate financial actions, all such actions affecting the market value of the Index require a divisor adjustment.

There is a large range of different corporate actions that can require the divisor to be adjusted. I will not go into details of the differences of index funds and ETFs, just think of them as almost identical products with some slight differences which I will not explain at the moment.

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However, they are to be viewed with skepticism when you ask one of their financial advisers for help. Mysteriously enough they will never guide you towards index funds or ETFs with management fees of less that 0. So how do you distinguish among all the choices? Bryan recommends screening the funds you are considering by four criteria. During the past decade, the index fund has become less expensive, but there are still big cost differences between them. The most expensive, however, charge 10 times as much.

Keep in mind that bigger funds generally have smaller fees, Bryan notes. This number shows how closely a fund's performance mirrors the index. Investors can also turn to Yahoo Finance or Google Finance to compare the fund's performance to the benchmark index. The rule of thumb is that exchange-traded funds are more tax efficient than mutual funds, which means ETFs are often a better choice for investors with taxable accounts.

But you can also check tax efficiency by visiting Morningstar. The fees you are charged can vary according to the company from which you buy the index fund. If you invest in a Vanguard fund, for example, it makes its funds available at its own cost—so the fees can be very low. For-profit companies, such as Fidelity, have shareholders to think about.