NEW YORK — Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) late last month took its place alongside Boeing, Merck & Co., Walmart and other large, publicly traded U.S. companies that comprise the Dow Jones industrial average, the stock index that tracks daily trading in 30 of the world’s best-known blue chips.
General Electric Co. was dropped to make room for WBA.
“Today’s change to the DJIA will make the index a better measure of the economy and the stock market,” David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee that selects the Dow’s components, said in a statement. With GE out and WBA in, the index is more representative of the consumer and health care sectors of the U.S. economy, Blitzer said.
Industrial conglomerate GE was an original member of the Dow, added in 1907. Today, the Boston-based maker of turbines, hospital equipment and aircraft engines ranks No. 18 on the Fortune 500 list of the largest U.S. companies by revenue, down five places from 2017. WBA ranked 19th this year.
GE’s market capitalization on June 20 was $112 billion. The total value of WBA’s shares was $64 billion.
WBA has grown rapidly this decade through a strategy of mergers and acquisitions. The Deerfield, Ill.-based company operates more than 13,200 retail pharmacy stores worldwide after last year’s buyout of about 1,900 Rite Aid stores.
Other companies that have joined the Dow in recent years include Apple, which replaced AT&T in 2015.