Dow Jones vs NYSE

Find out the key differences between the Dow Jones and the NYSE, plus some key points to consider before investing.

See the top company holdings Top holdings for each fund
Dow Jones vs NYSE performance Compare historical data

If you’re looking to invest in US stocks, you might have come across both the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Dow Jones. But while experts may talk about “investing in” both of them, they’re actually slightly different beasts. We explain what they are, how they work, and how to go about investing in the Dow Jones and the NYSE.

What’s the difference between the Dow Jones and the NYSE?

  • The NYSE (or New York Stock Exchange, to give it its full name) is one of the main stock exchanges in the US. Another biggie is the Nasdaq. A stock exchange is a central place where people can buy and sell shares and some other assets, such as exchange traded funds (ETFs).
  • The Dow Jones is a stock market index. An index is a virtual portfolio of assets that represents a segment of the financial market, and can help investors track the performance of the group of investments within it. The Dow Jones index comprises the 30 most traded stocks on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq.

List of top 10 stocks from each

Dow Jones

  • Apple
  • Microsoft
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • UnitedHealth
  • Visa
  • Walmart
  • Procter & Gamble
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Home Depot
  • Chevron

NYSE

  • VF Corporation
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • UnitedHealth
  • Walmart
  • Visa
  • Procter & Gamble
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Exxon
  • Mastercard
  • Bank of America Corporation

Dow Jones vs NYSE: Which is bigger?

As you would expect, given that the first is an index and the second an exchange. the NYSE holds many more listings than are included in the Dow Jones.

As the world’s largest stock exchange, in total the NYSE lists several thousand stocks, including some of the biggest and most valuable companies in the world.

The Dow Jones, on the other hand, represents just 30 stocks – albeit those that are the most frequently traded on the NYSE and Nasdaq.

Dow Jones vs NYSE: Which is worth more?

By market capitalisation of the stocks held, the NYSE is worth more. As of December 2022, it had an equity market capitalisation of nearly USD 23 trillion. While the Dow Jones boasts some of the world’s biggest companies, representing around USD 35 billion of stocks by market capitalisation, all 30 comprise only a tiny fraction of all the stocks available to deal in the US.

Dow Jones vs NYSE: Which is more diversified?

We’re probably not going to shatter any illusions here to point out that the small selection of 30 stocks comprising the Dow Jones is inevitably going to have less diversity than the thousands listed on the NYSE.

The Dow Jones is made up of “blue chip” stocks – typically big, well-established companies (think the likes of Visa and Walmart). So, while you might be able to count on fairly solid performance, you’re unlikely to get the level of diversity you could achieve if investing in a wider range of stocks – or the innovative and more exciting (if riskier) approaches you might want from some of your stock choices.

That said, even the entirety of the NYSE might not represent the full range of diversity that might be best for your portfolio, as the full exchange is known for blue chip companies. You could also consider looking at stocks listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange, for example, which is known for listing new and innovative tech companies.

Dow Jones vs NYSE chart

What’s the best FTSE index fund?

Here are some of the best performing NYSE and Dow Jones funds according to JustETF:

IconFund5-year performanceLink to invest
iShares iconiShares Dow Jones industrial average (CIND)69.52%Invest with eToroCapital at risk
SPDR iconSPDR Dow Jones Global Real Estate ETF (GBRE)29.49%Capital at risk
Lyxor iconLyxor Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJEL)69.35%Capital at risk
IconFund5 year performanceLink to invest
Vanguard iconVanguard FTSE 250 (VMIG)13.13%Invest with XTBCapital at risk
iShares iconiShares FTSE 250 (MIDD)16.44%Invest with eToroCapital at risk
HSBC iconHSBC FTSE 250 (HMCX)15.85%Capital at risk
Lyxor iconInvesco FTSE 250 (S250)17.36%Capital at risk
Xtrackers iconXtrackers FTSE 250 (XMCX)17.37%Capital at risk

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

Is it better to invest in the NYSE or the Dow Jones?

Zoe Stabler

Finder expert Zoe Stabler answers

It doesn’t have to be a case of one or the other. In fact, because the Dow Jones index is made up of the most traded stocks across the NYSE and the Nasdaq, by investing in the Dow Jones you’d automatically be investing in some of the stocks on the NYSE. There’s nothing stopping you investing in all 30 Dow Jones stocks and then picking and choosing a range of other NYSE stocks as well.

However, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend confining your investment portfolio even to the full NYSE. The best portfolio is a well-balanced portfolio, and that means diversifying your investments across a range of asset types, sectors and regions.

What are the top holdings in the NYSE and Dow Jones?

Dow JonesNYSE
iconAppleiconVF Corporation
iconMicrosofticonWalmart
iconJohnson & JohnsoniconProcter & Gamble
iconUnitedHealthiconJPMorgan Chase
iconVisaiconExxon

How to invest in the NYSE and Dow Jones

  1. Find an NYSE or Dow Jones ETF, index fund or mutual fund. Some index funds track the performance of all stocks on the index, whereas others only track a certain number of stocks or are weighted more towards specific stocks. You should select the fund that best suits your investment goals.
  2. Open a share-trading account. In order to invest in the funds, you’ll need to open a trading account with a broker or platform. Keep in mind that some index funds may only be available on certain brokerages or platforms. The providers in our comparison table below let you invest in US shares. We’ve listed some index funds below that are listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE)
  3. Deposit funds. You’ll need to deposit funds into your account to begin trading. Some brokers may charge you deposit fees, or you may need to pay a forex fee in order for your pounds to be converted into US dollars.
  4. Buy the index fund. Once your money has been deposited, you can then buy the index fund. You’ll generally pay a small annual fee to invest in an ETF or index fund.

Bottom line

The Dow Jones and the NYSE aren’t in competition, so you don’t need to choose between them. While they’re linked, they serve different purposes.

The NYSE stock exchange lets you buy and sell stocks in leading US blue-chip companies, while the Dow Jones index is a tool to help you track the performance of a small selection of stocks on the NYSE and another major US exchange, the Nasdaq.

When branching out into US stocks, the Dow Jones might be a straightforward place to start, but it’s worth considering all your options in line with your investment strategy. If you need support, consider professional financial advice.

Frequently asked questions

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

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Written by

Danny Butler

Danny is a publisher at Finder specialising in insurance and investing. He previously worked at the global insurer Aon and has appeared in national media giving advice on insurance. Danny holds a BA in International Business from the University of Plymouth and has undying loyalty to his average-poor football team, Portsmouth FC. See full profile

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