Apple Split Could Mean an Invite to the Dow ETF

ETF Trends

The invite to the Dow Jones Industrial Average needs to happen first, but following Wednesday’s news that Apple (AAPL) will split its shares seven-for-one, the iPhone maker is suddenly a credible candidate for inclusion in the blue chip index and the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) .

Based on Wednesday’s closing price, Apple’s split-adjusted price would be around $75. Apple’s lengthy tenure as a deep triple-digit stock made its inclusion in the price-weighted Dow and DIA nearly impossible. Price weighting means the stock with the largest price tag is DIA’s largest holding. Currently, that is Visa at almost 8.2% of the ETF’s weight. [Why Apple Didn't Get Into the Dow]

Shares of Visa closed t $208.82 Wednesday, an easier level for the Dow to stomach than the $500+ area in which the likes of Apple and Google (GOOG) dwell.

“This stock split is the missing piece of the puzzle in terms of the Dow discussion based on the mathematical limitations of the index formula being price weighted,” said Street One Financial Vice President Paul Weisbruch in an email exchange with ETF Trends.

Assuming Apple opens for post-split around $75 a share, it would be only a middling member of the Dow and DIA. At $75, Apple would come close to a tie with UnitedHealth (UNH) for a current DIA weight of less than 3%, meaning Apple would be more a more important driver of the Dow’s returns than just 12 of the index’s 30 members.

If Apple does make its way to Dow, which has not been confirmed, another stock must leave. Candidates for departure include Pfizer (PFE), Intel (INTC), General Electric (GE) and Cisco Systems (CSCO).

Some might say there would be irony in Apple bumping Cisco or Intel, viewed as old guard tech stocks, from the Dow. However, it is worth noting the Dow’s old school tech lineup, which also includes IBM (IBM) and Microsoft (MSFT), has outperformed Apple this year. [Cisco Lifting These ETFs]

The last tech stock booted from the Dow was Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and the stock has surged almost 44% since its Dow departure in September 2013.

SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF

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Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of Apple, Cisco, Intel and Microsoft.

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