Index Name:  Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Nickname:  S&P 500.

Publishing Company:  Standard & Poor’s.

Base Year:  1,957 (developed from an earlier index established in 1,923).

Number of Components:  500.

Weight:  According to Market Cap.


The S&P 500 is made up of 500 leading companies, representing all sectors of the American economy, and is meant to represent the entire American stock market. The index was created in $


Due to the large number of companies included in it, due to their beings pread out across the entire economy, the S&P 500 is thought to be a very good indicator of the stock market’s direction.  Many investors use the index as a benchmark to measure the performance of their portfolios and mutual funds.


Click here for an alphabetical listing of the 500 companies included in the S&P 500.

Graph 8

The S&P 500 Since 1957 (the y-axis is labeled in index units)