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Stocks on path to 40,000


People walk by the New York Stock Exchange in New York City on Dec. 29, 2023.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a key milestone on Thursday, the latest in a more than 100-year ascent that’s involved an everchanging group of stocks.

The closely followed average on Thursday broke above the 40,000 marker for the first time in its history. But the index today looks far different than it did a century ago — or even just a few decades prior.

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The Dow, all-time

The average was created by Charles Dow in 1896 with just 12 industrial stocks. Paired with the Dow Jones Transportation Average, the two were collectively meant to offer a gauge for the broader economy. After eight stocks were added in 1916, followed by another 10 in 1928, the Dow has stood for nearly a century at 30 members.

To reflect the country’s industrial presence, companies have been added and removed over time as the economy has evolved. Take technology, for example. There are now seven stocks from the sector in the index, reflecting its growing prominence in the equity market and corporate world.

A committee governs stock selection for the esteemed group of blue-chip stocks, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices, the S&P Global-owned company that operates the benchmark. Though it has no defined rules, the group typically analyzes a firm’s reputation, growth over a long period and relevance to investors. A sector’s representation in the Dow compared with its place in the broader market can also play a role.

The sole caveat: No utility or transportation stocks are included, given the existence of the Dow Jones Utility Average and Transportation Average.

With the Dow hitting its next big milestone, CNBC looked back at which companies comprised the index at previous important moments.

1972: Dow hits 1,000

November 1972

Alcoa Esmark Johns-Manville
American Can ExxonMobil Owens-Illinois Glass
American Tobacco General Electric Procter & Gamble
Anaconda Copper General Foods Sears Roebuck
AT&T General Motors Texaco
Bethlehem Steel Goodyear Union Carbide
Chevron Honeywell United Technologies
Chrysler International Harvester US Steel
Du Pont International Nickel Westinghouse Electric
Eastman Kodak International Paper Woolworth

Source: CNBC

1995: Dow cracks 5,000

November 1995

3M Eastman Kodak Merck
Alcoa ExxonMobil Phillip Morris
American Express General Electric Procter & Gamble
AT&T General Motors Sears Roebuck
Bethlehem Steel Goodyear Texaco
Boeing Honeywell Union Carbide
Caterpillar IBM United Technologies
Chevron International Paper Walt Disney
Coca-Cola J.P. Morgan Chase Westinghouse Electric
Du Pont McDonald’s Woolworth

Source: CNBC

1999: Dow touches 10,000

March 1999

3M Eastman Kodak Johnson & Johnson
Alcoa ExxonMobil McDonald’s
American Express General Electric Merck
AT&T General Motors Phillip Morris
Boeing Goodyear Procter & Gamble
Caterpillar Hewlett-Packard Sears Roebuck
Chevron Honeywell Union Carbide
Citigroup IBM United Technologies
Coca-Cola International Paper Walmart
Du Pont J.P. Morgan Chase Walt Disney

Source: CNBC

2017: Dow breaks 20,000

January 2017

3M General Electric Nike
American Express Goldman Sachs Pfizer
Apple Home Depot Procter & Gamble
Boeing IBM Travelers
Caterpillar Intel United Technologies
Chevron J.P. Morgan Chase UnitedHealth Group
Cisco Systems Johnson & Johnson Verizon
Coca-Cola McDonald’s Corporation Visa
Du Pont Merck Walmart
ExxonMobil Microsoft Corporation Walt Disney

Source: CNBC

2020: Dow surpasses 30,000

November 2020

3M Goldman Sachs Nike
American Express Home Depot Procter & Gamble
Amgen Honeywell Salesforce
Apple Intel Travelers Cos
Boeing IBM UnitedHealth
Caterpillar Johnson & Johnson Verizon
Chevron J.P. Morgan Chase Visa
Cisco Systems McDonald’s Walgreens Boots Alliance
Coca Cola Merck Walmart
Dow Microsoft Walt Disney

Source: CNBC

2024: Dow eclipses 40,000

May 2024

3M Dow Microsoft
Amazon Goldman Sachs Nike
American Express Home Depot Procter & Gamble
Amgen Honeywell Salesforce
Apple Intel Travelers Cos
Boeing IBM UnitedHealth
Caterpillar Johnson & Johnson Verizon
Chevron J.P. Morgan Chase Visa
Cisco Systems McDonald’s Walmart
Coca Cola Merck Walt Disney

Source: CNBC

Read more CNBC market news

Correction: The Dow average first hit 10,000 on March 16, 1999, but closed at that touchpoint for the first time nearly two weeks later on March 29, 1999. An earlier version misstated the intraday date.



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