DOW JONES & Company, Incorporated, founded by Charles Henry Dow, Edward Davis Jones, and Charles M. Bergstresser in 1882, originally hand-delivered news about bonds and stock transactions to Wall Street subscribers on "flimsies," copies of one-or two-sentence notes handwritten on slips of tissue paper layered between carbons. By 1883, the company printed a summary of each day's trades, the Customers' Afternoon Letter. Six years later, this daily evolved into The Wall Street Journal. In 1893, Jones sold his share to his two partners, who, by 1902, sold the firm to Clarence Barron. Nineteen years later, the company introduced Barron's National Business and Financial Weekly. Hand-delivered bulletins were discontinued in 1948, but by then The Wall Street Journal had become the mainstay of Wall Street.
In 1896, Dow introduced two averages, one of industrial companies' stocks and another of railroad stocks, as indexes of the whole stock market. More than 100 years later, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is the most universally recognized barometer of U.S. stock price behavior, comprises the stocks of thirty large industrial companies, and is quoted in points, not dollars. This price-weighted average is adjusted periodically to reflect splits in those stocks.
Downes, John, Elliot Goodman, and Jordan Elliot Goodman. Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms. 4th ed. New York: Barron's, 2001.
Gordon, John Steele. The Great Game: The Emergence of Wall Street As a World Power 1653–2000. New York: Scribner, 1999.
Rosenberg, Jerry M. Inside The Wall Street Journal: The History and the Power of Dow Jones & Company and America's Most Influential Newspaper. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1982.
Sutton, George, ed. Hoover's Handbook of American Business 2002. Austin, Tex.: Hoover's Business Press, 2001.
Nobody who plants corn digs up the kernels in a day or two to see if the corn has sprouted, but in stocks most people want to open an account at noon and get their profit before night.
SOURCE: Rosenberg, Jerry M. Inside The Wall Street Journal: The History and the Power of Dow Jones & Company and America's Most Influential Newspaper. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1982.