The lineups of three of the 11 groups that make up the benchmark S&P 500 index are being reordered as of Monday. Twenty companies in the index, including famous names like Facebook, Alphabet and Netflix, will find a new home.
Nielsen replaces Sprint Nextel, which was dropped as more than 50% of its shares are no longer expected to be available to the public following an acquisition. Nielsen has a market cap of $12.7 billion, above the minimum $4 billion required to be on the index, which many feel is a solid reflection of the health of the U.S. economy and a proxy for the strength of the stock market.
Stocks fell broadly Friday on fresh signs that Europe’s debt problems and the U.S. economy continue to languish.
A mixed bag of positive and negative economic indicators left investors struggling between buy and sell strategies. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 143 points, or 1.3%, to 11,154. It had been down as many as 45 points.
The Dow rose 50.03 points, or 0.4%, to close at 12,220.59. It gained 362 points for the week, the most since a 512-point jump during the week ending July 9. The S&P 500 rose 4.14, or 0.3% to 1,313.80. The Nasdaq rose 6.64 points, or 0.2%, to 2,743.06. All three stock indexes gained more than 2% for the week, helping them erase losses following the March 11 earthquake that hit Japan.
Earnings growth has been strong across U.S. companies, which have benefited from higher revenue overseas. The government also said fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week, evidence that layoffs are slowing.