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US Market Relative Performance

I snagged the following three graphs from Google finance. Each chart looks at the relative performance of the Dow (DJI), the NASDAQ (IXIC) and the S&P500 (INX)

The point that interested me was that out to six months ago this was a recovery lead by the tech heavy NASDAQ with the Dow and S&P bringing up the rear. What has happened over the past three months is that a gap has opened up between the S&P and the Dow with the Dow being the laggard.

This to me indicates two things –

1. The increasing irrelevance of the Dow as an index. The Dow is a profoundly idiosyncratic index with an odd selection criteria. For example it includes Cisco but not Apple….go figure.

2. The rally has a broader base of support at present than just tech stocks and the odd components of the Dow.


My guess is that if the genius’s at Dow Jones had elected to include Apple you would have a different situation. You might also have an index that was sitting at 15,000 instead of bouncing around 13,000.



  1. The survivor bias of the Dow is incredible. It has only 30 stocks in it and they quickly dump the bad ones. I believe GE is the only original ‘member’ and that’s only because GE isn’t anything like the original GE

  2. When I say incredible I mean gob smacking in it’s uselessness not as in something stunningly good

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