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This might sound like a dumb question to most. But I was hoping that someone could give me the most basic definition possible of what the "points" mean on the dow, Nasdaq, S&P 500, etc. For example, they say that the Dow is above 10,000 points, or was up today 156 points, or down 36 points. What exactly does that mean? And how do the points translate to stock volume?

I've had someone try to explain it on the subject of "basis points," but I still didn't quite get that. So I was hoping that someone could give me some very elementary examples that would help me understand exactly how this works.

Thanks for putting up with my ignorance on this subject.

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