Dow Jones opens door to Apple at last

Apple split its stock last year making each individual share seven times cheaper

In a clear sign of the times, the mobile phone and technology giant Apple is to join the Dow Jones Industrial Average, replacing AT&T, the former “Ma Bell” telecoms giant that has been a stalwart of the US blue-chip index since 1916.

Apple, despite being the US’s largest company with a market value of just over $750bn (£497bn), has not been included in the Dow before now because its high share price meant that it would have distorted the price-weighted index. That changed last June when Apple split its stock, making each individual share seven times cheaper.

Unlike benchmarks such as the UK’s FTSE 100, where the index’s members are chosen mainly because of their market values, Dow components are chosen by a committee looking to reflect the US economy’s industrial sector.

The change will come into effect at the close of trade on the 18 March, when Visa shares are themselves being split on a four-for-one basis, which reduces the weighting of tech stocks in the Dow.

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