Also known as a "market-value weighted index".
Most of the broadly-used market indexes today are "cap-weighted" indexes, such as the S&P 500, Nasdaq, Wilshire, Hang-Seng and EAFE indexes. In a cap-weighted index, large price moves in the largest components can have a dramatic effect on the value of the index. Some investors feel that this overweighting toward the larger companies gives a distorted view of the market, but the fact that the largest companies also have the largest shareholder bases makes the case for having the higher relevancy in the index.
Investment dictionary. Academic. 2012.
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