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Security Market Indexes

"Security Market Indexes"

"Security Market Indexes"Uses of Security Market Indexes

  • As benchmarks to evaluate the performance of professional money managers
  • To create and monitor an index fund
  • To measure market rates of return in economic studies
  • For predicting future market movements by technicians
  • As a substitute for the market portfolio of risky assets when calculating the systematic risk of an asset

Differentiating Factors in Constructing Market Indexes

The sample

  • size
  • breadth
  • source

Weighting of sample members

  • price-weighted series
  • value-weighted series
  • unweighted (equally weighted) series

Computational procedure

  • arithmetic average
  • compute an index and have all changes, whether in price or value, reported in terms of the basic index
  • geometric average

Stock-Market Indicator Series

Price Weighted Series:

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)
  • Nikkei-Dow Jones Average
  • Value-Weighted Series
  • NYSE Composite
  • S&P 500 Index and more
  • Unweighted Price Indicator Series
  • Value Line Averages
  • Financial Times Ordinary Share Index

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA):

  • Best-known, oldest, most popular series
  • Price-weighted average of thirty large well-known industrial stocks, leaders in their industry, and listed on NYSE
  • Total the current price of the 30 stocks and divide by a divisor (adjusted for stock splits and changes in the sample)

Criticism of the DJIA:

  • Limited to 30 non-randomly selected blue-chip stocks
  • Does not represent a vast majority of stocks
  • The divisor needs to be adjusted every time one of the companies in the index has a stock split
  • Introduces a downward bias by reducing weighting of fastest growing companies whose stock splits

Nikkei-Dow Jones Average:

  • Arithmetic average of prices for 225 stocks on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE)
  • Best-known series in Japan
  • Price-weighted series formulated by Dow Jones and Company
  • The 225 stocks represent 15 percent of all stocks on the First Section

Value-Weighted Series:

  • Derive the initial total market value of all stocks used in the series
  • Market Value = Number of Shares Outstanding X Current Market Price
  • Assign an beginning index value (100) and new market values are compared to the base index
  • Automatic adjustment for splits
  • Weighting depends on market value

Unweighted Price Indicator Series:

  • All stocks carry equal weight regardless of price or market value
  • May be used by individuals who randomly select stocks and invest the same dollar amount in each stock
  • Some use arithmetic average of the percent price changes for the stocks in the index
  • Value Line and the Financial Times Ordinary Share Index compute a geometric mean of the holding period returns and derive the holding period yield from this calculation

Global Equity Indexes:

  • There are stock-market indexes available for most individual foreign markets
  • These are closely followed within each country
  • These are difficult to compare due to differences in sample selection, weighting, or computational procedure
  • Groups have computed country indexes

FT/S&P-Actuaries World Indexes:

  • Jointly compiled by The Financial Times Limited, Goldman Sachs & Company, and Standard & Poor’s in conjunction with the Institute of Actuaries and the Faculty of Actuaries
  • Measures 2,271 securities in 30 countries
  • Covers 70% of the total value of all listed companies in each country
  • Includes actively traded medium and small corporations along with major international equities
  • Securities included must allow direct holdings of shares by foreign nationals
  • Index is market-value weighted with a base date of December 31, 1986 = 100
  • Index results are reported in U.S. dollars, U.K. pound sterling, Japanese yen, German mark, and the local currency of the country included
  • Results are calculated daily after the New York markets close and published the following day in the Financial Times
  • Geographic subgroups are also published

Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Indexes:

  • Three international, nineteen national, and thirty-eight international industry indexes
  • Include 1,375 companies listed on stock exchanges in 19 countries with a combined capitalization representing approximately 60 percent of the aggregate market value of the stock exchanges of these countries
  • All the indexes are market-value weighted
  • Reporting is in U.S. dollars and the country’s local currency
  • Also provides –

-price to book value (P/BV) ratio
-price to cash earnings (earnings plus -depreciation) (P/CE) ratio
-price to earnings (P/E) ratio
-dividend yield (YLD)

  • The Morgan Stanley group index for Europe, Australia, and the Far East (EAFE) is used as the basis for futures and options contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange

Dow Jones World Stock Index:

  • Introduced in January 1993
  • 2,200 companies worldwide
  • Organized into 120 industry groups
  • Includes 33 countries representing more than 80 percent of the combined capitalization of these countries
  • Countries are grouped into three major regions:Asia/Pacific, Europe/Africa, and the Americas
  • Each country’s index is calculated in its own currency as well as in the U.S. dollar

Comparison of World Stock Indexes

Correlations between the three series since December 31, 1991 to December 31, 2000, indicates an average correlation coefficient among them in excess of 0.99

Bond-Market Indicator Series:

  • Relatively new and not widely published
  • Growth in fixed-income mutual funds increase need for reliable benchmarks for evaluating performance
  • Many managers have not matched aggregate bond market return

– increasing interest in bond index funds
– requires an index to emulate

Difficulties in Creating and Computing Bond-Market Indicator Series:

  • Universe of bonds is much broader than that of stocks
  • Range of bond quality varies from U.S. Treasury securities to bonds in default
  • Bond market changes constantly with new issues, maturities, calls, and sinking funds
  • Bond prices are affected by duration, which is dependent on maturity, coupon, and market yield
  • Correctly pricing individual bond issues without current and continuous transaction prices available poses significant problems

Investment-Grade Bond Indexes:

  • Four investment firms maintain indexes for Treasury bonds and other investment grade (rated BBB or higher) bonds
  • Relationship among these bonds is strong (correlations average 0.95)
  • Returns for all these bonds are driven by aggregate interest rates – shifts in the government yield curve

High-Yield Bond Indexes:

  • Non investment-grade bonds rated BB, B, CCC, CC, C
  • Four investment firms and two academicians created indexes
  • Relationship among alternative high-yield bond indexes is weaker than among investment grade indexes
  • Merrill Lynch Convertible Securities Indexes

Global Government Bond Market Indexes:

  • Global bond market dominated by government issues
  • Several indexes created by major investment firms:

-Measure total rates of return
-Use market-value weighting
-Use trader pricing
-But sample sizes differ as do numbers of -countries included

  • Differences affect long-term risk-return performance
  • Low correlation among several countries is similar to stocks
  • Significant exchange rate effect on volatility and correlations

Composite Stock-Bond Indexes:

  • Beyond separate stock indexes and bond indexes for individual countries, a natural step is a composite series that measures the performance of all securities in a given country
  • This allows examination of benefits of diversification with a combination of asset classes such as stocks and bonds in addition to diversifying within the asset classes of stocks or bonds

Merrill Lynch-Wilshire U.S. Capital Markets Index (ML-WCMI):

  • Market-value weighted index measures total return performance of the combined U.S. taxable fixed income and equity markets
  • Combination of Merrill-Lynch fixed-income indexes and the Wilshire 5000 common-stock index
  • Tracks over 10,000 stocks and bonds

Brinson Partners Global Security Market Index (GSMI):

  • Includes:

-U.S. stocks and bonds
-Non-U.S. equities
-Non-dollar bonds
-Allocation to cash

  • Matches a typical U.S. pension fund allocation policy
  • Close to the theoretical “market portfolio of risky assets” referred to in  the CAPM literature

Comparison of Indexes Over Time:

Correlations among monthly equity price changes:

  • Most differences are attributable to sample differences
  • Different segments of U.S. stock market or from different countries
  • Lower correlations between NYSE series and AMEX series or NASDAQ index than between NYSE alternative series (S&P 500 and NYSE composite)

Correlations among monthly bond indexes:

  • Among investment-grade bonds correlations range from 0.90 to 0.99
  • Interest rates differ by risk premiums
  • Rates of return are determined by systematic interest rate variables
  • Low correlation in global returns to U.S. returns support global diversification

Mean Annual Security Risk-Returns and Correlations:

  • There are clear differences among  the series due to different asset classes (e.g., stocks versus bonds) and when there are different samples within asset classes
  • There is a positive relationship between the average rate of return on an asset and its measure of risk
  • The security market indexes can be used

– to measure the historical performance of an asset class
– as benchmarks to evaluate the performance of a money manager for a mutual fund, a personal trust, or a pension plan


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