A stock index is a representation of the entire market or a segment of the market. The most commonly quoted index is the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 industrial stocks. The purpose of the S&P 500 is to provide a cross-section of the entire stock market. The NASDAQ index provides a sense of direction for the smaller end of the stock market.
Information technology has enabled these indexes to be more quickly compiled and has permitted other indexes to be assembled. In addition to the Dow and the S&P 500, there are many others that provide information about market movements. Other companies have entered the index business and you will find other indexes under Wilshire and Russell.
Domini was the first company to develop an index of companies that developed indexes reflecting stocks that passed an initial level of social screening and met other investment criteria as well. More recently, others have developed their own social indexes, for the most part consisting of a broad spectrum of companies.
Comprised of approximately 100 companies, the index was designed to give investors diversified exposure to large-cap growth stocks with the objective of long-term capital appreciation. Setting the Citizens Index apart is the integration of social screening into its investment process. In addition to traditional fundamental research, companies are subjected to rigorous social and environmental screening in an attempt to eliminate companies whose corporate behavior or line of business could become an impediment to performance. The Citizens Index seeks to demonstrate that superior financial performance can go hand-in-hand with high social and environmental standards. Website: www.citizensfunds.com.
Created in 1990, the DSI was the first benchmark for equity portfolios subject to multiple social screens. It is a market capitalization-weighted common stock index modeled on the Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500).
Social investors now will no longer have to wait until the end of the trading day to see how a benchmark of socially responsible investments performed. Kinder, Lydenberg, Domini & Co., Inc. (KLD), a Boston-based social investment research firm, has made the Domini 400 Social Index (DSI) available on a real-time basis on its website through a partnership with Dow Jones Indices. Website: www.domini.com.
The Calvert Social Index™ is a broad-based, rigorously constructed benchmark for measuring the performance of large, US-based socially responsible companies. This section of the Web site provides comprehensive information on the list of companies in the Index, social analysis profiles, the daily value and performance of the Index and the industry sector representation. Website: www.calvertgroup.com.