Welcome to Macro Mondays! We talk a lot about the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average here, but what about their lesser-cousin? The Russell 2000 is a great index for measuring the performance of many small-corporations and, as a result, help in measuring the overall health of the US economy. It's a much riskier index than many, but quite profitable if it is timed correctly.
Ultimately, if you are in the early-years of your career, you definitely should consider getting into the Russell indexes for some great long-term growth.
The Russell 2000 index is an index measuring the performance approximately 2,000 small-cap companies in the Russell 3000 Index, which is made up of 3,000 of the biggest U.S. stocks. The Russell 2000 serves as a benchmark for small-cap stocks in the United States. The weighted average market capitalization for companies in the Russell 2000 is about US$1.3 billion and the index itself is frequently used as a benchmark for small-cap mutual funds.
Where Did the Russell Indexes Originate?
Seattle, Washington-based Russell's index began in 1984 when the firm launched its family of U.S. indices to measure U.S. market segments and hence better track the performance of investment managers. The resulting methodology produced the broad-market Russell 3000 Index and sub-components such as the small-cap Russell 2000 Index. The broad-market U.S. index is the Russell 3000 Index, which is divided into several sub-indexes, including the small-cap Russell 2000 Index. Using a rules-based and transparent process, Russell forms its indexes by listing all companies in descending order by market capitalization adjusted for float, which is the actual number of shares available for trading. In the United States, the top 3,000 stocks (those of the 3,000 largest companies) make up the broad-market Russell 3000 Index. The top 1,000 of those companies make up the large-cap Russell 1000 Index, and the bottom 2,000 (the smallest companies) make up the small-cap Russell 2000 Index.
What is the Methodology in the Russell Index Construction?
The Russell indexes are objectively constructed based on transparent rules. The broadest U.S. Russell Index is the Russell 3000E Index which contains the 4,000 largest (by market capitalization) companies incorporated in the U.S., plus (beginning with the 2007 reconstitution) companies incorporated in an offshore financial center that have their headquarters in the U.S.; a so-called "benefits-driven incorporation". If 4,000 eligible securities do not exist in the U.S. market, the entire eligible set is included. Each Russell Index is a subset of the Russell 3000E Index and broken down by market capitalization and style. The members of the Russell 3000E Index and its subsets are determined each year during annual reconstitution and enhanced quarterly with the addition of initial public offerings (IPOs). The Russell 3000E Index represents approximately 99 percent of the U.S. equity market. Russell excludes stocks trading below $1, stocks that trade on the pink sheets and OTC Bulletin Board, closed-end mutual funds, limited partnerships, royalty trusts, non-U.S. incorporated stocks (other than the benefits driven incorporations described above), foreign stocks, and American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).
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