The Bullish Bears break down a list of the most popular stock market indexes. Stock indexes, aka indices, measure specific sections of the stock market. They fall under the umbrella of stock exchanges. Investors and traders cannot buy or sell the major exchanges but they can trade the indexes on the exchanges.
Each index is made up of sectors. Under those sectors are industries and sub-industries, which include the most common stock symbols and companies that investors and traders buy and sell.
Table of Contents
- List of Most Popular Stock Market Indexes (Indices)
- How Do I Find the Stock Market Indexes (Indices) List?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Stock exchanges
- Stock indexes
- Stock sectors
- Industries and sub-industries
- Stock symbols and companies
The indices are common to track the overall markets and are also very popular for trading with futures and ETFs.
Just click any of the links to get an overview of each index and see the stock symbols and companies that are included.
List of Most Popular Stock Market Indexes (Indices)
- S&P 500 (SPX): measures 500 large-caps in U.S. stock market
- Dow Jones 30 (DJI): compares 30 large-cap U.S. stocks
- Nasdaq 100 (NDX): index made up of 103 largest non-financial companies
- Russell 2000 (RUT): small-cap index of 2000 stocks
- FTSE 100/Footsie (FTSE): 100 large-cap companies on London Stock Exchange
- Dax 30 (DAX): 30 blue chip German stocks on Frankfurt Exchange
- Nikkei 225 (NKY): 225 stocks on the Tokyo Stock exchange
- Hang Seng Index (HSI): weighted index of Hong Kong’s largest companies
- Nifty 50 (NIFTY): weighted average of 50 of the largest Indian companies
Other Stock Indexes
- S&P/TSX Composite Index
- SSE Composite Index
- S&P/ASX 200
- EURO STOXX 50
- NYSE American Composite Index
- Taiwan Capitalization Weighted Stock Index
- BEL 20
- MOEX Russia Index
- Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index
- PHLX Semiconductor Sector
- Wilshire 5000
- IBEX 35
- Barron’s 400 Index
- SZSE Component Index
- Straits Times Index
- S&P/NZX 50 Index
- Indice de Precios y Cotizaciones
- FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI
- SZSE Component Index
- All Ordinaries
- Top 40 USD Net TRI
- EURONEXT 100
- TA-125 Index
- AEX index
- Russell 3000 Index
- Russell 1000 Index
- OMX Stockholm 30
- Swiss Market Index
The S&P 500 is a stock index that measures the 500 largest stocks on major exchanges in the United States. It is one of the most popular indices on our stock indexes list. The $SPY/$ES are the most common ways to track the markets. It’s important to have a chart of either the SPY or SPY futures when trading stocks. The reason is that the majority of stocks run with the overall market.
Shorting Stock Indexes
When the $SPY is up, then typically, stocks are up. The exception might be with penny stocks or pump-and-dump sectors like bitcoin or pot stocks. Sometimes these sectors will pump up when the market is down. However, even most penny stocks pump up when the market is bullish. Penny stocks are very difficult to trade when the market is bearish unless you are into shorting.
Going long is when traders are bullish are the markets overall. This is the most common trading strategy. Shorting is another popular strategy to implement when the market is bearish. So, when the SP500 is bearish, then shorting bearish stocks or reversal patterns is a very lucrative trading strategy. Going long requires you to buy low and sell high for profit. Shorting requires you to sell high and then buy low to cover and keep the difference. Shorting the market requires you to have a specialized broker that has share locate availability.
Options are another great way to trade the major indexes up or down. You can sell ETFs of the major indexes or trade contracts of the large-cap companies that make up the indexes. Options and shorting both give you alternatives to trading. They are very popular ways to capitalize on trading the major indices worldwide.
Futures trading is another popular way to trade the companies on our stock indexes list. They allow you to trade popular stock indices without putting out total capital or purchase options contracts. Futures contacts allow you to purchase fractional contracts of major companies on our stock indices list above. Contracts trade in ticks. Each tick, depending on the stock index, trades around 0.25 ticks. With the $SPY, four ticks make up 1 point. Each point equals $1 or 1 point.
New York Stock Exchange
Many of the stocks on our stock indexes list trade on the NYSE or New York Stock Exchange. The NYSE is the leader in stock listings around the globe. Again, you’ll find many companies in this major exchange on our stock indices lists above.
The New York Stock Exchange has been operating for over 225 years. They have listings in many stock sectors, such as healthcare, technology, energy, and financials.
Some options to get listings on the NYSE are Direct Floor Listings, IPOs, Special Purpose Acquisition Companies, and transfers.
Stock Index IPOs
The most common way to get listed on the New York Stock Exchange is by IPO or initial public offering. A company becomes an IPO when they go public to raise money to grow the company.
Direct floor listings are another popular way to get listed on the NYSE. This is different than IPOs. Companies are allowed to list their shares directly on the NYSE. A SPAC is used to raise capital through an IPO and then use this money to run a business.
News Affects Markets
It’s important to remember that all markets work differently. However, many times news affects markets around the world. Take the Coronavirus (COVID-10) for example. The virus epidemic started in China and affected the Hang Seng Index ($HSI), but it didn’t take very long to begin affecting the worldwide markets.
News affects markets. The Coronavirus affects jobs, lives, trade, and our global economic system. The global markets don’t react well to uncertainty, especially with something that can affect work and business worldwide, as the COVID-19 virus can.
If people can’t go to work, are dying, and loss of production happens, then all of this news will affect stock pricing. It doesn’t take very long for hysteria to affect the markets, just like it was done with the Coronavirus in a few short weeks in February 2020. We had two huge selling days where the Dow Jones lost almost 2000 points, which is a huge drop. Again, markets don’t like uncertainty.
This huge drop in the Dow happened, despite the virus not being widespread in the U.S. yet. This is why it’s always very important to stay on top of the news and keep an eye on economic events worldwide.
How Do I Find the Stock Market Indexes (Indices) List?
- Do a Google search
- Type in stock market index or stock market indices
- Look at the top of the search results
- Locate all of the different major indexes
- Click on the index and find the corresponding list
How to Track the Markets
When charting the major markets, you can sort by different time frames. There are monthly, weekly, daily, 1 hr, 5 min, and 1-minute chart time frames. These are the most popular time frames. However, there are several others as well.
Go to a tool like TradingView, StockCharts.com, or the broker of your choice and type the ticker symbol. Then you’ll be able to see the corresponding market chart that you’re looking to track and trade.
Research companies before investing or trading them is always a good idea. A helpful tool like Benzinga is a great way to get breaking news or research stocks.
Benzinga also has a good scanner filter built in as well. Their website is filled with helpful stock research tools, scanners, analyst ratings, and economic calendars, and they even have a great feature called Squawk, which reads out audio of breaking news, which saves you the time of having to look at a scanner. You can pull the chart up immediately, giving you a better chance of getting a quicker entry.
Stock scanners are a great way to scan and filter the markets to see what’s currently running in the hottest indexes. You can filter screeners by momentum plays, swing trades, options, and long-term plays.
They are the lifeblood of a trader. They are getting the best entry matters, as traders and scanners allow you to enter a trade before the herd jumps in. We provide a list of our favorite stock scanners under our stock scanners list page.
Before you start trading the markets, finding the right trading broker is important. You’ll be fine trading the markets like the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and the Dow with major companies like TD Ameritrade, E-Trade, Webull, and Fidelity.
When you get into specific trading niches, it’s important to look at more specialized brokers. If you’re going to be a day trader and trade low-float penny stocks, then ill want to look at brokers such as SpeedTrader, LightSpeed, CMEG, or Interactive Brokers.
Frequently Asked Questions
- S&P 500: measures 500 large-caps in U.S. stock market
- Dow Jones 30: measures the top 30 U.S. stocks large-cap stocks
- Nasdaq 100: measures the top 100 largest non-financial companies
- Russell 2000: index of 2000 small-cap stocks
An index cannot be traded or invested in directly. Many different products, such as ETFs, mutual funds, and derivatives, are available to investors.
A stock allows investors partial ownership in a company. An index gives investors the option of investing in a basket of companies.