A new owner and name for the Dow index?

The Dow Jones industrial average might be up for sale by its owner, News Corp., a move that conceivably could result in a name change for the 125-year-old stock market barometer.

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported Friday that News Corp. was considering selling its stock index business and had reached out to potential buyers.

News Corp., which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch, declined to comment.

Dow Jones & Co., which News Corp. acquired in 2007, offers thousands of stock indexes that are used as benchmarks by investors and licensed for use by mutual funds and other investment products. It also owns the Wall Street Journal.

The Dow began as a basket of 11 stocks in 1884. The index now has 30 members, including Microsoft Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The index is up 8.3% this year but is off 33% from its all-time closing high, 14,164.53, set Oct. 9, 2007.


martin.zimmerman @latimes.com

The Associated Press was used in compiling this report.

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