1986年查尔斯·道编制道琼斯工业指数时，选择的大多数创始成份股现在已消失在人们记忆里，但从这些公司名字里，可以窥见当时的经济，其中包括美国皮草公司（U.S. Leather Company）、美国烟草公司（American Tobacco Company）、挤奶与养牛公司（Distilling & Cattle Feeding Company）。
通用电气退出道指后，指数中连续存在时间最长的就是埃克森美孚国际公司（ExxonMobil）了，该股票1928年加入道指，当时名为新泽西标准石油（Standard Oil of New Jersey）。
沃尔格林，又称沃尔格林博姿联合公司（Walgreens Boots Alliance，股票的原始名称），过去两年股票下跌22%。但道指管理委员会认为，将该公司纳入指数更能反映美国的经济动态。
Of the 12 stocks that originally made up the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896, only General Electric remains part of the index.
As of this week, that will change.
GE will exit the Dow Industrial, to be replaced by Walgreens. The S&P Dow Jones Indices, the joint venture that maintains the stock index, took investors by surprise in announcing the change after the markets closed on June 19.
The move not only underscores the challenges that GE has faced in recent years but illustrates the changing nature of the companies that are driving the U.S. economy. In the past decade, tech and consumer-brand giants like Apple and Nike have entered the Dow, along with industry leaders such as Visa and UnitedHealth Group.
A sobering illustration to corporate America of how the fortunes of even the dominant firms can change. (True also for individuals and governments). Just ask yourself, who 10 years ago, would have thought this likely? Once-unthinkable, this has become a reality. @generalelectri pic.twitter.com/jVSPAQ2jpa
—— Mohamed A. El-Erian
Among the other originals to the first industrial index compiled by Charles Dow in 1896 were companies that few recall these days, but which offer a snapshot of the economy at the time: U.S. Leather Company, American Tobacco Company, the Distilling & Cattle Feeding Company.
After GE exits the Dow, the component stock with the longest continuous history will be ExxonMobil, which entered the stock index in 1928 as Standard Oil of New Jersey.
During the past two years, GE’s shares have fallen 57% as of Tuesday’s market close, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen 44%. Facing a series of financial setbacks, GE’s new CEO John Flannery has instituted a number of cost-cutting actions that have led to thousands of layoffs and cut in half the dividends it pays to shareholders.
Walgreens—or Walgreens Boots Alliance, as the stock is formally called—has declined 22% in the past two years. But the committee overseeing the Dow’s composition felt its inclusion in the index better reflected the dynamics of the U.S. economy.
“Walgreens is a national retail drug store chain offering prescription and non-prescription drugs, related health services and general goods,” David Blitzer, a managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices said in a statement. “With its addition, the DJIA will be more representative of the consumer and health care sectors of the U.S. economy. Today’s change to the DJIA will make the index a better measure of the economy and the stock market.”
Changes in the compositions of stock indexes can sometimes cause departing stocks to fall and incoming issues to rise. In after-hours trading last Tuesday, shares of GE were down 1.4%, while shares of Walgreens were up 2.9%.
In February, GE’s Flannery cautioned investors who were giving up on the stock to “do so at their own peril.” In a letter to shareholders, Flannery acknowledged his difficult first year leading the conglomerate before asserting, “Many people have lost faith in us. I have not.”
But now the Dow indices, it seems, have done so.