Big changes came to the Dow today

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The Dow welcomed three new components: Honeywell (HON), Salesforce (CRM) and Amgen (AMGN). And it said goodbye to ExxonMobil (XOM), Pfizer (PFE) and Raytheon (RTN). Don’t worry, the Dow isn’t going to suddenly spike or tumble (well … not because of the new stocks, anyway). S&P Dow Indices, which oversees the Dow, changed the divisor used to generate the index’s total.
Still, the changes in the Dow (INDU) are noteworthy because the index has lagged the broader stock market — badly. Many investors consider the Dow synonymous with the market, but it’s just 30 hand-picked stocks that don’t always do a great job portraying how stocks are performing.
The much broader S&P 500 is up 8.5% this year. The Dow is down 0.4% and is well short of its all-time high from February (the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are at or near record highs now).

Continuing the trend, on Monday the Dow fell 224 points, or 0.8%. The S&P 500 fell 0.2% and the Nasdaq rose 0.7%.

One of the leading factors in the Dow’s stumbles in 2020 is the lack of tech stocks. The S&P 500’s biggest — and therefore most heavily weighted — stocks are Apple, Microsoft (MSFT), Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB). Of those, the Dow includes only Apple and Microsoft. That means it’s missed out on those companies’ electrifying gains — most notably Amazon, which has soared 87% this year and hit another record high Monday.
By adding Salesforce, the Dow brings another tech company into the fold. But Salesforce is puny compared to the leading tech companies. Salesforce has been on a tear recently, and it was brought in particularly to help the Dow overcome the effect of Apple’s stock split Monday (more on that in a sec).
But it’s not enough to compensate: Apple’s huge gains this year have helped add more than 1,400 points to the Dow, analysts at Bespoke Investment Group pointed out in a recent research note. The stock split means the company’s weighting will drop from 12.1% to just under 3%, which means the Dow is poised to reap fewer benefits from Apple moving forward.

Stock splits

Two of the highest-profile stocks have a new look too.

Apple (AAPL) shares are now about $400 cheaper after its 4-1 split, which went into effect Monday. Tesla’s (TSLA) stock is $1,800 cheaper after its 5-1 split.

The split did not change the value of any investor’s total holding of either company. It just grew the number of shares making up that pot. So investors who held Apple got three more shares for each share they held last week — but the value of each share was far less. Tesla stockholders got four shares for each share they held.

The stock splits make the shares more affordable for everyday investors. Apple stock finished the day at just over $129 per share, after gaining 3.4% Monday. That’s compared to about $500 last week.

Tesla’s stock closed at $498 per share Monday, up 12.6%. It was at around $2,200 last week.

Both stocks also spiked in the run-up to their splits, suggesting the lower price could help attract buyers in the near future.

— CNN Business’ Julia Horowitz contributed to this report.

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