Apple to Replace AT&T in Dow Jones Industrial Average

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Apple CEO Tim Cook

The switch will take place after the close of trading on Wednesday, March 18.

Apple will replace AT&T in the Dow Jones industrial average, the managers of the index announced early Friday.

S&P Dow Jones Indices said the switch will take place after the close of trading on Wednesday, March 18. Apple will start trading as part of the 30-stock Dow at the opening of trading the following day.

S&P Dow Jones Indices said it's making the move in response to a planned stock split for Visa, another member of the 119-year old barometer of the stock market.

After its four-to-one stock split, Visa will wind up with a lower price. S&P said that would reduce the weight of the information technology sector in the Dow. Adding Apple will help balance out this reduction. Unlike other stock market measures, the Dow weighs members by their prices, so a large change in the price of one stock can have a big effect on the overall index.

S&P said swapping Apple for AT&T won't alter the Dow's level.

The last big shake-up came in September 2013 when Goldman Sachs, Nike and Visa knocked out Alcoa, Bank of America and Hewlett-Packard.

Apple's stock rose $2.55, or 2 percent, to $128.99 in early trading on Friday. AT&T sank 46 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $33.54.

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