BBC Index of 20 leading companies

BBC Index of 20 leading companies

About the Index

Stock Market Bubble

The graph explained (below)

The BBC index of 20 is our own real-time calculation showing what the value is now of $100 invested in 20 leading stocks in Europe and America in January 2000. This is useful because it draws in the mood across the UK, Germany, France and US in one number, and it is also a figure which demonstrates clearly the dramatic swings in investment returns since the stockmarket peak in 2000.

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Latest results

French share trader

As of 1200 GMT on 4 February 2009, the index is at $63.3. This is above its lows of $62 in March 2003 and on Tuesday 20 January 2009, but it is a massive plunge from its starting level in January 2008 of 136.5.

Only three of the 20 individual shares are currently in profit:

Diageo 163, Total 152, Johnson and Johnson 124 (starting at 100)

The following 17 stocks have lost capital value over the past 8 years:

Boeing 98, Rio Tinto 96, IBM 84, Disney 70, BP 69, WalMart 67, Siemens 65, HSBC 54, Pfizer 46, Carrefour 37, Deutsche Bank 30, Nokia 27, Allianz 27, General Electric 23, Alcoa 19, Citigroup 9 and Ford 6 (starting at 100)

In other words every $100 which was invested in Ford in 2000, is now only worth $6.

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About the companies
share display screen

Ten of the companies are based in Europe and ten are based in the United States.

They are chosen to provide a snap-shot across a range of industrial sectors and to avoid those companies which hold a potentially vulnerable monopoly in their particular markets.

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AEROSPACE & ENGINEERING: Boeing, General Electric, Siemens

BANKS & INSURANCE: Allianz, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, HSBC

DRINKS: Diageo



HEALTH & HEALTHCARE: Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson

MEDIA: Disney

METALS & MINING: Alcoa, Rio Tinto


RETAIL: Carrefour, Wal-Mart

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The graph explained

man walking past share display screen

The BBC 20 index (shown in blue) grew by 20% per year for 5 years during late 1990s, reaching 100 in January 2000.

The index hit peak of 140 in early 2008 before plunging to 62 i.e. levels of 2003 and 1997, as recession took hold.

The bar chart undeneath the index itself (shown in dark red) shows overall US output in cash terms (known to economists as nominal GDP) rising on average 5% a year, reflecting real growth plus inflation.

In the long run, growth in share price values on a country's stock market should mirror its growth in nominal GDP.