Companies used to compute the Dow Jones Industrial Average, as of January 2015, include 3M, American Express, AT&T, Boeing, Chevron, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola, DuPont, Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Home Depot, Intel, IBM, Johnson and Johnson and JPMorgan Chase, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. The remaining companies are McDonald's, Merck, Microsoft, Nike, Pfizer, Procter and Gamble, Travelers, United Technologies, Verizon, Visa, Wal-Mart and Walt Disney.
The 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average are all leaders in their respective industries, and their stocks are widely held by small and institutional investors, states S&P Dow Jones Indices. Two-thirds of these companies are manufacturers of industrial and consumer goods. The remainder represent a diverse range of industries from banking to entertainment and information technology.
The industrial average originally consisted of only 12 stocks, and it was introduced by Charles H. Dow in the spring of 1896. It was not published on a regular basis until the Wall Street Journal began running it in the daily edition beginning Oct. 7, 1896. In 1916, the average expanded to include 20 stocks. In 1928, the number was raised to 30. The component stocks of the Dow have changed over the years to reflect an evolving economy. Stocks previously included in the average include Bethlehem Steel, Westinghouse Electric and Woolworth Corp.