Markets News & Opinions

Dow Trails S&P 500, Nasdaq Ahead of Historic Shake-Up

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market continued higher on Wednesday, as surging tech shares continued to lead the charge.

  • The Dow Jones posted modest gains Wednesday.
  • Surging technology and communication stocks propelled the S&P 500 and Nasdaq to new all-time highs.
  • The Dow is getting a major shake-up next week, with, Amgen, and Honeywell replacing ExxonMobil, Pfizer, and Raytheon Technologies, respectively.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose on Wednesday but continued to underperform its wider-market peers after the index announced significant changes to its constituents.

Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq Rally

All of Wall Street’s major indexes reported gains Wednesday, though the Dow continued to underperform its peers. The Dow 30 edged up 83.48 points or 0.3%, to 28,331.92.

The Dow posted modest gains on Wednesday as the broader market rallied. | Chart: Yahoo Finance

Among the current Dow 30 industrials, Dow Inc. (NYSE:DOW) rallied 2.2%, Home Depot Inc. (NYSE:HD) gained 2%, and Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) rose 1.8%.

On the opposite side of the ledger, Walgreens Boots Alliance (NYSE:WBA) and ExxonMobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) each fell more than 2%.

Technology stocks lifted the broader market to new all-time highs, with the S&P 500 Index gaining 1%% and the Nasdaq Composite surging 1.7%.

The CBOE Volatility Index, commonly known as the VIX, continues to trade just above its historical average. VIX rose 5.6% to 23.27 on a scale of 1-100, where 20 represents the historic average.

Significant Changes Are Coming to the Dow

The Dow 30 index is preparing for major adjustments next week. In a decision that was prompted by Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) upcoming four-for-one stock split, S&P Dow Jones Indices announced earlier this week it would swap out three companies to reduce its exposure to the technology sector.

Beginning Aug. 31, ExxonMobil Corp (NYSE:XOM), Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), and Raytheon Technologies (NYSE:RTX) will be replaced by (NASDAQ:CRM), Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), and Honeywell International (NYSE:HON).

The current Dow 30 make-up by weight. | Chart: Indexarb

ExxonMobil’s exit is especially notable given the oil giant’s 92-year history on the index. Like other energy producers, Exxon has been hit hard by the multi-year collapse in crude prices. Exxon and Chevron Corp (NYSE:CVX), another Dow constituent, posted their largest quarterly loss in history last month.

As a whole, energy stocks are down more than 33% over the past 12 months. By comparison, information technology is up over 55%.

Unlike the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, the Dow hasn’t returned to its pre-crisis high. The Dow closed at 29,551.42 on Feb 12, according to Bloomberg data.

Last modified: September 23, 2020 2:26 PM

Sam Bourgi

Financial Editor of, Sam Bourgi has spent the past decade focused on economics, markets, and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE, Yahoo Finance, and Forbes. Sam is based in Ontario, Canada and can be contacted at or at LinkedIn.