A Few WRDS about the S&P 500

The Standard and Poor’s 500 Index, a key measure of the U.S. equity market, closed above 2,000 the first time on August 26, 2014.The Index includes 500 leading U.S. companies and captures about 70% of available U.S. market capitalization.

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Standard & Poor’s OUTLOOK

The S&P 500 Index first appeared in March 1957. Described as “The Standard 500” in the OUTLOOK (March 11, 1957, p.908) S&P mentioned the “intricate computing equipment applied to the task” of calculating the Index every hour. Today, the Index is calculated every 15 seconds.

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Standard & Poor’s Security Price Index Record

Oddly enough, S&P didn’t list the stocks that composed the Index in the OUTLOOK. You can find the initial list of 500 companies scattered among the 91 industry subgroups that made up the Index in Standard & Poor’s Security Price Index Record for 1957. For the subgroup “Confectionery”, for example, the 500 component companies were American Chicle, Hershey Chocolate, Sweets, and Wrigley (p. 29). The Index has undergone many changes since its inception, both in the companies that compose it, and in the way that it is calculated. Currently, only 86 of the original 500 companies are still part of the Index.

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Corporate Affiliations and ReferenceUSA’s “Way Back” Machines

Web-based company directories have many advantages over their print counterparts, but in one area they frequently fall short; they rarely include historical information. Financial databases of public companies such as Bloomberg, Thomson One, and S&P COMPUSTAT will include extensive historical financial data, but if you are looking for a private company’s address, product line, or executive names as of 1995, you would do better with a 20 year run of a printed directory than with its current online counterpart.  This pattern is changing as information vendors become aware of the market for historical company data. Two examples of corporate directory archives are the historical research sections of Corporate Affiliations and ReferenceUSA.

Corporate Affiliations shows the corporate structure of more than 1 million public and private companies world-wide with subsidiary listings and corporate linkage.  For more information please see:  Private Company Research Part 2:  Corporate Affiliations. The Historical Research module of the database gives company addresses, products, SIC numbers, names of executives and directors, and key financial data for every year from 1993 to date. As the menu below indicates, you can search by company name, or screen by one or more variables. A company (ENRON, for example) does not have to be in business currently to be included in the historical file. To reach the Historical Search menu, follow this path from the main Corporate Affiliations’ menu:

Subscriber Tools => Historical Search

Corp Affiliations History First Menu

 

 

 

 

The record for Motorola Solutions, Inc. shows how the data is presented for a single company.  Clicking on the date tabs (‘1993’ etc.) will include the data for that year in the output.

Corp Affiliations Historical 1

 

The historical treatment of changes in SICs and product descriptions will include as many as 14 SIC numbers and descriptions for each company.

Corrp Ailliations Historical 2

 

 

 

 

 

The company record for all years and all variables can be downloaded as a text .CSV format which EXCEL will read.

Here is the result of a screen for companies in Philadelphia in 1993.

Corp affiliation Phila

 

The WEB display of the results is only a small fraction of the EXCEL record, which will give details for all variables (SIC, executive name, financial data, etc.). If the entire date range is requested, the downloaded record will list the companies alphabetically and then give variable details for each year.

However, there is a display limit of 1,000 records per search.  For example, a search for all companies in France with data for all years will produce a set of more than 1,000 records, but only 1,000 records from the set will be displayed.

ReferenceUSA’s current company directory contains 24 million U.S. company records plus records for an additional 1.5 million Canadian companies. The database’s historical businesses  module contains 151 million U.S. company records from 2003 through 2013.

To see the menu below:

U.S. Historical Business Database => Custom Search

REfUSA Main Menu

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFUSA beer list 2003

For example, a screen for breweries (Primary NAICS 312120)  in Pennsylvania in 2003 will produce this display:

 

Clicking on an individual company name will display a record giving the 2003 address, phone, sales volume, employee size, SIC/NAICS codes, as well as graphs of sales volume and number of employees for all available years between 2003 and 2013.

Downloading the records in  EXCEL and requesting “detail” will display all the variables available for the company for the given year. However, there is a limit of 250 records per download.  Requesting all records for a company for the range of years (2003 – 2013) will give a line of data for each year. In this way, you can determine if a company changes its name during the ten year period. For example, the company listed as “Pittsburgh Brewing”  from 2003-2008 is listed as “Iron City Brewing” between 2009 and 2012 and then as “Pittsburgh Brewing” again in 2013.

Companies can be mapped by number of locations, employee or sales size and displayed as “heat maps”. For example, the heat maps below show the doubling of  the number of breweries in Pennsylvania  between 2003 and 2013 (from 27 locations to 69).

CombinedHeat

The  availability of  the “back files” of ReferenceUSA and Corporate Affiliations are an important step in filling the gap in digital historical directory information.

For additional information on company histories see this posting: Don’t Know Much About “Corporate” History.

Also see our Research Guides:  Company Information and Business History Resources.

 

Put our Services to the Test

Welcome to Lippincott and the start of a new academic year!  We have a number of services to help make your life at Penn a lot easier.  Some of these services are described here.

 

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DOCUMENT DELIVERY. Available to MBAs,  PhD candidates and Faculty. Please send an email to docdel@wharton.upenn.edu to request articles and book chapters. Include the full citation for the fastest reply.

BUSINESS FAQ.  Your 24/7 librarian. Search by keyword to find resources on your topic such as financial ratios, consumer demographics, analyst reports and many more.

RESEARCH ASSISTANCE.  Email us, chat, call us at 215-898-5924 or contact a subject specialist on your topic. Ask for a Consultation for yourself or your team. We know where to find the academic resources that you need.

WHARTON LAB COMPUTERS AND PRINTERS.  Too crowded over at Wharton?  Come over to Lippincott and use the Wharton Lab Computers here.  These computers are reserved for Wharton students and have all the same programs and features that are available on Wharton computers.  Sign in using your Wharton account information.

GROUP STUDY ROOMS.  Have a team project or group presentation?  Reserve a room  for your meeting.  Some rooms are larger and can accomodate up to 12 people.

YABLON FINAYablon 1NCIAL RESOURCES LAB.  Bloomberg and Capital IQ are at your fingertips.  Log in with your Wharton account information.  First time you use Bloomberg, create your own account.  Librarians log you into Capital IQ.

 

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DATAPOINTS is the Lippincott Library’s blog. Follow us to learn tricks and tips about Bloomberg and many other Library databases.  Look for postings on new Library resources.  See this post, for example: Top 10 Resources for MBAs .

WORKSbloomberg120611_2_560HOPS.  Wednesdays are Bloomberg days.  Every week we provide Bloomberg training from 3:30 – 4:30 in the Yablon Financial Resources Lab.  You can register here: Business Workshops.   It’s hands-on so be sure to come a few minutes early to create your own Bloomberg account.

We also offer other workshops on Job Search, Company Information and Business Research Skills.  See the training schedule to find out what workshops are being offered. Registration is recommended.

RESEARCH TO GO.  Every Monday -Thursday we come to you.  Reference Librarians are available from 12:30 – 1:30 in Huntsman Hall 251.  Drop in and get fast answers to your job search or research questions.8-27-2014 2-49-11 PM

TEXT BOOKS.  Available for many Wharton courses at the Lippincott Reserve Desk.  Most can be checked out for three hours and used in the Library.

 

SUBJECT/COURSE GUIDES.  Subject Specialist have prepared Guides by subject area or course.  Use these to find resources for your projects and assignments.  Contact a Specialist for additional information.

FRANKLIN is the Library Catalog.  Use this to search for books, journals, videos and more.

MARK’S CAFE.  Food.  Drink.  Comfort.

Take advantage of the services available to you.  Hope to see you soon.