When it’s time for a physical checkup, most people go to a general practitioner. Although an ear, nose and throat specialist would have more expertise in those particular organs, it’s your entire body that you want to evaluate.
Why isn’t it the same with the stock market? If you tune in to any news channel or pick up any newspaper, the one U.S. stock market benchmark you will inevitably find reported is the Dow Jones industrial average. Yet the Dow is not very representative of the market, or even of industrial stocks. So why has this benchmark become so ubiquitous as a stock market performance measure?