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SS,

Awesome of you to be so gentle with me for the "elementary" questions.


No problem!

With regard to volume' yes, I wanted to know what the media meant when they said that trading dipped below 10,000 because it had not dipped below that benchmark for years. What does that mean?

They meant the DJIA dipped below 10,000. As of today, the DJIA is at 8852...well below 10,000. I visited the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) the day it broke 10,000 for the first time. They stopped for a moment, applauded and went back to trading. This was before 911, and I don't know if they have tours of the exchange anymore because of security.

"Volume" is different than the 10,000 we're talking about. Take a look at this link:

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/hp?s=%5EDJI

The "volume" in this case for the dow was 6,581,780,000. If I am not mistaken, that number represents how many times the 30 stocks that make up the Dow, were traded that day. The DJIA is ONLY 30 stocks chosen by the Editors of the Wall Street Journal. Here are those 30 stocks:

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/cp?s=%5EDJI

As you can see, these are HUGE companies. There may be only 30, but the companies are gigantic.

DJIA is just an indicator though since the DJIA represents a "slice of the pie" which obviously represents the whole if one has a diversified portfolio? Do I have this right?

Absotively! It's just one bench mark...probably the oldest. Way back when Charley Dow came up with this idea, there were only a handful of stocks (8?) in the average. At that time, most of them where railroad stocks because that was a major industry back then. If you look at the Dow componants in the link above, it represents a lot of industry. The S&P 500 is another bench mark. It represents...you guessed it, 500 compnaies the Standard and Poor's believes represent the over all market. The Russell 2000 is and index of smaller companies. There are quite a few indexes but the most popular the the Dow and the S&P 500.

Hey, J.P. thank you again for answsering my question in a respectful way and without condescending comments or negative undertones. You are AWESOME.

I hope you're not finding that here at the Fool! The vast majority of posters are cool. "Ask a Foolish Question" is another good board to ask questions. There's a whole army of people answering questions on that board, if someone doesn't know the answer, usually someone else will provide it.

Take care, J.P.
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