|Focus on Finance|
|A stock answer: think of the future
It's been a tough 2003 on Wall Street. Through March 14, the Dow Jones Industrials Average had fallen 5.8 percent, and the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index has dropped 5.3 percent. Boeing's valuation had been affected by macroeconomic trends that have touched many corporations in America and investors worldwide. Perhaps the most notable factor: Fears about war in Iraq have compounded pre-existing worries about the U.S. economy and the health of the airline industry. As a result, the stock price of Boeing had slipped 22.6 percent through March 14 and recently hit an eight-year low. Share prices of EADS, which has an 80-percent stake in Airbus, have fallen to their lowest level since the company went public in 2000.
Words to remember when talking stock
Here are some terms used when talking about stocks and bonds:
Bond: Debt that's issued, generally by governments or companies. When an investor buys bonds, he or she is lending money. The seller of the bond agrees to repay the principal amount of the loan at a specified time.
Dow Jones Industrial Average: A priceweighted average of 30 actively traded stocks. This index, also known as the Dow, is a barometer of how shares of the largest American companies are performing.
Institutional investors: Organizations that invest, such as mutual fund companies, pension funds and depository institutions.
Standard & Poor's 500 Composite Index: An index of 500 widely held common stocks that measures the general performance of the market.
Stock: Ownership of a corporation. Each share of stock represents a piece of the corporation's assets and earnings.
Yield: The rate of interest paid on a bond.
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