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Business News/ Markets / Stock Markets/  Amazon Is Joining the Dow Jones Industrial Average
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Amazon Is Joining the Dow Jones Industrial Average

wsj

The online retail giant will replace Walgreens in the storied stock index.

Amazon has been among the stock market’s most dominant performers. PHOTO: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERSPremium
Amazon has been among the stock market’s most dominant performers. PHOTO: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS

Amazon.com is officially joining the blue chips.

The online retail powerhouse will be included in the venerable Dow Jones Industrial Average at the start of trading Monday, replacing Walgreens Boots Alliance.

S&P Dow Jones Indices, which manages the 30-stock benchmark, said the changes were prompted by Walmart’s 3-for-1 stock split, which is also effective next week.

Unlike the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite, the blue-chip index is weighted by share price, not by market capitalization. Walmart’s split will reduce its weighting, and that of the consumer staples sector, in the index.

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The Dow is calculated by adding the prices of the 30 stocks and dividing by a factor that accounts for changes like stock splits and index entrants. That means that companies with a higher share price have a greater effect on index moves, regardless of their total market value.

Walgreens’ tenure in the index was relatively short lived. It was added in June 2018, replacing General Electric. Its stock has struggled since then, losing more than two-thirds of its value, and was the Dow’s biggest laggard in 2019 and 2023.

Faced with shrinking demand for Covid-19 tests and vaccines, the pharmacy chain is racing to make up for lost revenue. Walgreens slashed its quarterly dividend last month.

Amazon, on the other hand, has been among the stock market’s most dominant performers. Robust holiday spending online helped extend its recovery from a postpandemic slump, while the company says interest in artificial intelligence is driving healthy sales in its cloud-computing arm.

Amazon shares have nearly doubled since the beginning of 2023, giving the company a market value of more than $1.7 trillion.

Amazon will join Boeing and Salesforce as the only non-dividend paying stocks in the Dow. By weighting and influence in the index, it will rank 17th, while Walmart will drop to 26th from 17th. UnitedHealth Group will retain top billing.

The Dow’s last shake-up occurred in August 2020. Salesforce, Amgen and Honeywell International joined the index, replacing Exxon Mobil, Pfizer and Raytheon Technologies. That change was prompted by a stock split at Apple.

A committee composed of representatives of S&P Dow Jones Indices and The Wall Street Journal determines the composition of the index. The committee looks for companies with an “excellent" reputation, sustained growth and high level of interest from investors, according to index methodology.

Changes are made to the index on an as-needed basis. A company must be part of the S&P 500 to be considered for membership. The Dow industrials exclude companies in the utilities and transportation industries, which are represented in separate Dow indexes.

UnitedHealth currently makes up about 9% of the index, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Microsoft and Goldman Sachs follow at around 7%. Walgreens is the smallest player, at around 0.4%. Verizon Communications, at 0.7%, and Intel, at 0.8%, round out the bottom three.

The Dow has lagged behind the S&P 500 and Nasdaq in recent years. The blue-chip index is up about 50% in the past five years, while the S&P 500 has surged about 75% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq has more than doubled.

The Dow has a heavier weighting to the financials and healthcare sectors than the S&P 500, while the S&P 500 is more heavily skewed to tech and communication services than the Dow.

Charles Dow, the first editor of The Wall Street Journal and co-founder of Dow Jones & Co., the publisher of the Journal, created the Dow average to help explain stock-market movements to his readers.

An average of 12 stocks was published daily in the Journal beginning in 1896. An earlier stock average, consisting mostly of railroads, was printed in a predecessor publication in 1884. The industrial average expanded to 20 names in 1916 and 30 companies in 1928.

Write to Hannah Miao at hannah.miao@wsj.com and Jack Pitcher at jack.pitcher@wsj.com

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