Standard & Poors will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the S&P 500 stock index on March 5, ringing the closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange.
S&P, which began in 1923 with 500 stocks segmented into four separate indexes industrials, transportation, utilities and financials consolidated them to create the S&P 500 on March 5, 1957, said David R. Guarino, communications manager.
Some other facts from S&P about the S&P 500:
•The closing price of the index March 5, 1957, was 44.42. Its recent close was 1406.82 on Feb. 28.
•The S&P 500, which has played a crucial role as a U.S. broad market benchmark for institutional investors, has produced an estimated total return in those 50 years of 10.83% through Feb. 26, of which almost a third 32.87% is from reinvested dividends.
•Altria Group Inc. (formerly Phillip Morris Cos.) has been the best-performing stock in the index, with an annualized total return of 19.88% through Feb. 26.
•In all, 86 companies in the original S&P 500 are still in the benchmark.
•Its worst one-day percentage loss was 20.47% on Oct. 19, 1987. That was followed two days later by its best one-day percentage gain, 9.1%.
•Its best-performing year was 1958, producing a 38.06% gain; its worst year, 1974, recorded a 29.72% loss.
•The S&P 500 has closed up 6,608 days for an average gain of 0.63%. It has closed down 5,900 days for an average loss of 0.64%. For 73 days, the closing price was unchanged.