Exxon’s Departure From Dow Highlights Market’s Retreat From Energy Bets

Exxon is the longest-tenured member of the Dow, having joined in 1928 as Standard Oil of New Jersey. A U.K. refinery operated by Exxon.

Photo: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg News

The Dow Jones Industrial Average’s coming farewell to Exxon Mobil XOM -3.17% Corp. is the latest sign of the waning influence of America’s struggling energy sector.

When trading begins next week, the blue-chip benchmark will include only one energy stock: Chevron Corp., CVX -1.23% which will represent just 2.1% of the price-weighted index, according to an S&P Dow Jones Indices analysis.

In the broader S&P 500, the group isn’t faring much better: Its weighting has shrunk to less than 2.5%, leaving energy as the least influential of the 11 represented industries. That is a dramatic fall from the end of 2011, when energy stocks accounted for 12% of the market, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Although the removal from the Dow is largely symbolic—much less money tracks the 30-stock index than follows the S&P 500—Exxon’s departure has historical significance. The company is the longest-tenured member of the benchmark, having joined in 1928 as Standard Oil of New Jersey.

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