The Dow Jones just dropped its oldest member: Exxon Mobil

In another sign that times “are a-changing’, the Dow Jones has dropped Exxon Mobil from its influential index.

Why does this matter?

Well, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is the classic blue-chip stock index. Exxon Mobil is an iconic blue-chip stock and the longest-tenured member of the index. Exxon’s exclusion represents a big drop from the days where oil companies were kings of the stock market.

The change is driven by Apple’s decision to split its stock, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices, which is responsible for the Dow. Its impact on Exxon will be more symbolic than substantive. But it reflects just how once-dominant Exxon has diminished.  Many oil companies are struggling on the stock market as climate concerns mount, Silicon Valley stocks massively outperform petroleum, and the coronavirus keeps global oil demand well below expectations. Then Exxon and Mobil merged in 1999, it was the biggest merger in history, creating the world’s largest privately-held oil company.

For years, Exxon Mobil was the world’s largest publicly-traded company. Today, after the long rise of the tech giants and the abrupt collapse of the oil market, there are some three dozen companies more valuable than Exxon. And with time, there will be a whole lot more.

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