From the AP Stylebook, here are some terms to know when writing about the U.S. stock market.
The Dow Jones industrial average is a market indicator comprised of 30 leading U.S. stocks. Use the full name on first reference. On subsequent references, use the Dow.
Futures contracts are agreements to deliver a quantity of goods, or commodities, at a specified time and price. Options are traded to give buyers the right but not the obligation to buy or sell something at a certain price within a period of time. Futures exchanges transfer the risk of price fluctuations from people who don’t want the risk to speculators willing to take a gamble in the hopes of making profits.
Nasdaq, the nation’s largest all-electronic stock market, was formerly an acronym but is now a proper name.
The New York Stock Exchange can be shortened to NYSE on second reference.
Stock prices are quoted in dollars and cents: “Intel stock rose 65 cents to $27.26 in afternoon trading.” If prices are rounded, the story should include context, such as, “The stock rose above $100 for the first time.”
Standard & Poor’s 500 index is a market indicator encompassing 500 top U.S. companies and used by many mutual funds as a benchmark of their own performance. Use the full name on first reference and S&P 500 on subsequent references.