S&P 500 Index

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The S&P 500 is an index owned and maintained by Standard & Poor's Corporation. It is comprised of 500 publicly held, predominantly U.S. corporations, all of which are considered "large caps." All stocks in the S&P 500 index are traded on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.


Index traders and institutions have varied product offerings related to the S&P 500 index -- futures and futures options, equity index options and exchange-traded funds.


In stock and mutual fund performance charts, the S&P 500 index is often used as a baseline for comparison. The chart will show the S&P 500 index, with the performance of the target stock or fund overlaid.