• A statistical measure of the changes in a portfolio representing a market. The Standard & Poor's 500 is the most well-known index, which measures the overall change in the value of the 500 stocks of the largest firms in the U.S.

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 Alpha: Is a measure of the incremental reward (or loss) that an investor gained in relation to the market. Typically, this is measured as performance of a selected portfolio relative to a market benchmark. An enhanced S&P 500 portfolio might have an alpha of .25 which means that the pickup was .25% or a quarter point better than the standard.A measure of selection risk (also known as residual risk) of a mutual fund in relation to the market. A positive alpha is the extra return awarded to the investor for taking a risk, instead of accepting the market return. For example, an alpha of 0.4 means the fund outperformed the market-based return estimate by 0.4%. An alpha of -0.6 means a fund's monthly return was 0.6% less than would have been predicted from the change in the market alone. In a Jensen Index, it is factor to represent the portfolio's performance that diverges from its beta, representing a measure of the manager's performance.

 American option: An option that may be exercised at any time up to and including the expiration date. Related: European optionAn option that may be exercised at any time during the life of the option. Stock options that trade in U.S. option exchanges, such as the CBOE, are of American types. Index options are of either American (option on S&P100 index, called OEX) or European types (option on S&P500 index, called SPX). See call and put options.

 Arms: See Adjustable Rate Mortgages.Adjustable rate mortgage. A mortgage that features predetermined adjustments of the loan interest rate at regular intervals based on an established Index. The interest rate is adjusted at each interval to a rate equivalent to the index value plus a predetermined spread, or margin, over the index, usually subject to per-interval and to life-of-loan interest rate and/or payment rate caps.

 Arms index: Also known as a trading Index (TRIN)= (number of advancing issues)/ (number of declining issues) (Total up volume )/ (total down volume). An advance/decline market indicator. Less than 1.0 indicates bullish demand, while above 1.0 is bearish. The index often is smoothed with a simple moving average.

 Asian: Is an option which uses the averaged prices of the underlying security, Index or commodity, during its life as the determinant of the payoff amount.

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