The market is not quite as bad as the Dow makes it look
One high-profile group of stocks has been doing particularly badly during the coronavirus crisis — the 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The state of play: The Dow stocks are down 33% over the past month, compared with a 30% decline for the S&P 500, and a 24% drop for the more tech-focused Nasdaq. On up days and down days the Dow has generally underperformed the market as a whole.
Why it matters: The Dow is often the first indicator that Americans look to when they want to understand what's happening in the stock market. But the Dow companies represent only a small minority of U.S. stock-market capitalization.
- The Dow is an average rather than an index, which means companies with higher share prices have outsized influence on its moves.
- In particular, Boeing has weighed heavily on the Dow.