Monday, March 23, 2009

If I Were Manipulating the Dow Jones Industrial Average

On March 6 we posted "Manipulating the Dow Jones Industrial Average":
...This history came back to me as I watched IBM today. Big Blue is the highest priced stock in the DJIA. It was down $1.67 to $85.81. The current divisor is 0.1255527090 which means a $1.00 move in any component stock is worth just under 8 points on the index.

Thus a 1.16% move in IBM is worth as much to the index as a 97% move in Citi (closed at $1.03).

If these were the bad old days, and one were looking for the opposite move, up rather than down, then one would look for a way to paint a negative picture, perhaps by taking a high priced stock down while the lower priced issues were firming up.

That's how they used to do it in the old days*....
Of course, I'm not saying anyone was doing it. MarketBeat reports the largest contributors to today's 498 point gain:
Today’s top contributors to the Dow’s movement and their point contribution:
IBM (49.38), JPM (45.48), XOM (35.36), CVX (35.36), MMM (27.00).
Thus 10% of today's gain came from one stock, IBM.
Interesting, no? Here's the one month percentage move chart, via BigCharts: