ETFdb.com has a fun interactive piece on the history of the SPY ETF and its top 10 components through the years – it certainly is a trip through memory lane and for some of us pre-dates us due to age. For example in 1980, Standard Oil of Indiana and Standard Oil of California were top 10 components, along with Atlantic Richfield Company. Eastman Kodak was still a top 10 company in 1981. Sears Roebuck was still a top 10 company in 1985. Lucent Technologies and American Online in 1999, etc.
With the 20th birthday of this ETF coming in January 2013, we take a look back at the evolution of one of the best-known indexes over the past two decades. While some of the names remain the same, many components of the S&P 500 have undergone radical changes since the first ETF debuted. We start more than a full decade before the launch of SPY in 1980, when Standard Oil was a household name, Atlantic Richfield was one of the biggest companies in the world, and AAPL was only recently a public company.
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