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Glossary Term: DIVISOR

Definition(s) for DIVISOR:


1. ) Used in construction of stock indices. Suppose there 10 stocks in an index, each worth $10 and the index is at 100. Now suppose that one of the stocks must be replaced with another stock that is worth $20. If no adjustment is made to the divisor, the total value of the index would be 110 after the swapping. yet there should be no increase in value because nothing has happened other than switching the two constituents. The solution is to change the divisor; in this case from 1.00 to 1.10. Note that the value of the index, 110/1.1, is now exactly 100 - which is where it was prior to the swap.

2. ) A mathematical quantity used to compute an index. It is initially an arbitrary number that reduces the index value to a small, workable number. Thereafter, the divisor is adjusted for stock splits (price-weighted index) or additional issues of stock (capitalization-weighted index).



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