The Down Jones Industrial Average announced changes today. It happens every few years, and when it does, it always shows some sort of reflection of the state of the economy and by extension, society. ATT, Kodak, and International Paper got the boot off of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. AT&T. 20 years ago, that would have been unthinkable. Now, two of the baby bells are on the DJIA, and Verizon is on primarily because of their cellular service. This is sort of an acknowledgement of the changes that technology brings, and that in a market economy, nothing is forever. ATT and Kodak had been on the DJIA since the 1930’s and International Paper since the 1950’s. Landlines, film, and paper. Replaced with cell phones, pharmaceuticals, and insurance. No heavy industry in the new companies.
Looking at the historical changes in the component companies of the DJIA is really interesting, and a great look at how the economy has changed. The average as we know it began on October 4, 1916 and consisted of:
The “industrial average” isn’t very industrial anymore.