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Investment: An A-Z Guide by Philip Ryland

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S

S&P 500 Index

The benchmark index for large cap STOCKS in the United States run by Standard & Poor’s, a financial information provider. Its constituents are shares in 500 companies each with a market capitalisation of at least $4 billion. As at the end of September 2008, its value was just over $10 trillion and the average market value of each company was £20 billion. It is a market value index, which means that its value is weighted by the stockmarket value of its constituents. A 1% change in the value of ExxonMobil, its biggest component, therefore, would have a greater impact than a 1% change in the value of Apple. Although it was started in 1957, the S&P’s base value is 10 for the period 1941–43.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act

In 2002, ...

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