What is the S&P 500?

How many times have you read somewhere or heard someone state the “S&P 500 is up or down X% today?”  Or have you heard someone say that they own a mutual fund or ETF mirrors the S&P 500?  Lastly, have you read one of our stock analyses where we compare a company’s price to the S&P 500 to determine if the company is undervalued?   If you are a beginning investor, when asking those or similar questions to yourself, did you even stop and wonder what exactly the S&P 500 is?

This year, we have started our financial education series where we educate investors of all experience levels about various topics.  We’ve covered topics such as Who and What Is Vanguard?, What is the Dividend Payout Ratio?, and  What is a Dividend? In this article, we will take a deeper dive into the S&P 500, explain what the stock market index is, provide a background, and review how the S&P 500 determines which stocks are included in the index.

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