How many stocks made up the Dow Jones when it was founded?

Answer: 12

Below is an excerpt from Yahoo Finance. Click here to read the whole thing

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), America’s first and most watched stock index, is a staple in the United States’ finance industry; it’s comprised of 30 blue-chip stocks, which means that the companies included are considered reliable investments. Since it was created, the DJIA has strived to track the United States’ industrial economy, with the index fluctuating right along with the economy. Let’s take a look at some fun and interesting facts about the Dow Jones’ history and its iconic components.

1. The Dow Jones was founded in 1896 with 12 industrial stocks.

Meant as a way to measure the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. stock market, the 12 original stocks of the DJIA reflected the booming industries of the late nineteenth. They are as follows: American Cotton Oil, American Sugar, American Tobacco, Chicago Gas, Distilling and Cattle Feeding, General Electric GE, Laclede Gas, National Lead, North American, Tennessee Coal Iron and RR, U.S. Leather, and United States Rubber. 

2. DJIA was founded by journalists Charles Dow and Edward Jones.

Along with fellow journalist Charles Bergstresser, Charles Dow and Edward Jones founded the Dow Jones index as part of their research into market movements and analysis. And, Berstresser and Dow were the brains behind The Wall Street Journal, of the most respected financial publications in the world.

3. General Electric is the only stock of the original 12 left on the index.

The energy provider has the longest tenure of any company on the Dow Jones; however, it was not once, but twice, cut from the index. It’s first drop occurred just two years after its original induction in favor of U.S. Rubber, but it rejoined in 1899 for another two years before dropping off again in 1901. GE’s second replacement was U.S. Steel, but after the steel company bought fellow component Tennessee Coal Iron and RR, GE was able to rejoin for good in 1907.


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