Constituent (Stock or Company) – Definition

Cite this article as:"Constituent (Stock or Company) – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated December 2, 2019, last accessed October 19, 2020,


Constituent (Market Index) Definition

A constituent refers to a company or stock that belongs to a bigger index, like the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the S&P 500. The aggregate of every constituent form an index, and usually each constituent must meet specific criteria related to market exposure, market cap, and liquidity, and also be chosen to be included in an index tax.

A Little More on What is a Constituent

Individual constituents compose the United States’ largest market indexes, including the New York Stock Exchange, the Dow Jones Transportation Average, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Nasdaq Composite Index.

Indexes have some core economic functions, including shaping and giving substance to index, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), tracking the overall performance of specific sectors or markets of the economy or stock market, and providing portfolio managers and investors with benchmarks for evaluating their decisions. By entering a market index, a company or constituent stock gets the benefit of increased attractiveness, confidence, and exposure.

Requirements of Constituents

Requirements for being a constituent of a market index differ from index to index. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is made up of thirty of the biggest and most renowned American corporations (listed majorly on the NYSE), spreading across various industries, with each constituent having a weight on the general index equivalent to its price. The NYSE Composite Index and Nasdaq Composite Index track the performance of every equity listed on each stock exchange. The weight each individual constituent possesses on the overall index is dependent on market capitalization, with dividend yield and price return of every constituent factoring into the index’s movements.

As a market index reduces, constituent requirements usually reduce in market cap size and also narrow by sector. Instances of smaller and more precise market indexes include the NYSE ARCA Oil Index, the NYSE ARCA Biotech Index, the PHLX Semiconductor Index, the Nasdaq Computer Index, the Russell 2000 Index, and the PHLX Gold/Silver Index. The PHLX Semiconductor Index includes companies like Qorvo, Skyworks Solutions, and Microsemi Corporation; constituents that are considerably less renowned than those of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Benefits of Index Funds

Funds based on an index like the S&P 500 are alluring to investors seeking to generate a good return on investment while diversifying their portfolio and also reducing their exposure to risk. Index funds usually offer constant growth and low risk, while their demerits include less big gains and limited flexibility.

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