The Dow has an interesting history, being first compiled in 1896, and intended to represent a cross-section of American Industry. It was originally comprised of 12 stocks: American Cotton Oil,American Sugar,
American Tobacco,Chicago Gas,Distilling & Cattle Feeding,General Electric, Laclede Gas
National Lead, North American, Tennesee Coal & Iron, U.S. Leather preferred, and U.S. Rubber.
Over the years stocks have been added, changed, dropped, etc. Most recently, last month the DJIA dropped Sears, Goodyear, Chevron and Union Carbide for Microsoft, Home Depot, Intel, and SBC Communucations, reflecting a changing economy. And Microsoft and Intel are the first non-NYSE components to be included in the DJIA since its inception.
Over long periods, the DJIA and the S&P 500, along with some other indexes, actually run fairly close together; but for day-to-day trading, the Dow can be pretty volatile.
“Come on, Phonics Monkey–drum!”