There is big news for you indexers out there. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) will be the next addition to the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). This is a major development, and the change is expected to be in effect after the close of trading on March 18. For a stock to be added to the Dow means one has to be on the way out. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was that loser.
Friday’s news may be more symbolic than major moving news for index traders. The reason is that the DJIA has fewer index funds and benchmarks tracking it than the S&P 500 and even than the major Russell indexes. Again, it is only 30 companies. To prove the point, here are the SPDR ETF balances as of Thursday, March 5, 2015, in the so-called Diamonds and Spyders.
SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEMKT: DIA) was shown to have $12.44744 billion in total net assets, based on 68.84 million shares outstanding. The average daily volume of the Diamonds is almost 6.4 million shares.
SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEMKT: SPY) was shown to have $191.74200 billion in total net assets, based on 912.13 million shares outstanding, making its market cap 15 times larger and its share count 13 times larger than the Diamonds. The average daily volume of the Spyders is over 134 million, making it 21 times more active than the Diamonds.
The index change was said to be prompted by Visa Inc.’s (NYSE: V) four-for-one stock split, which is scheduled to take effect at the same time. The post-split adjusted lower price of Visa will reduce the weighting of the information technology sector in the index. Adding Apple to the index will help to partially offset this reduction. In price weighted indexes such as the DJIA, a large change in price of a high-priced stock can have a material impact on sector representation in the index and this index change is designed to minimize that impact. The telecommunication services sector will continue to be represented in the DJIA by Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).
Apple shares were indicated up 1% at $127.80, against a 52-week range of $73.05 to $133.60 and against a consensus price target of $135.88. AT&T shares were indicated down 1.1% at $33.60. Keep in mind that Apple was the highest yield of the DJIA by far at about 5.5%.