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Russell 2000 Index


The Russell 2000 Index is a stock market index that tracks the performance of approximately 2000 small-cap companies in the United States. It is widely regarded as a benchmark for the small-cap sector of the U.S. equity market. The index is a subset of the larger Russell 3000 Index.


The phonetics of the keyword “Russell 2000 Index” is: “rʌsəl tuː θauzənd ˈɪndeks”.

Key Takeaways

Russell 2000 Index

  1. Small-Cap Focus: The Russell 2000 Index is designed to measure the performance of the small-cap segment of the U.S. equity market. It is composed of the smallest 2000 stocks in the Russell 3000 Index, which itself represents approximately 98% of the investable U.S. equity market.

  2. Market Representation: The Russell 2000 Index is a good representation of small U.S. companies. It’s commonly used by fund managers as a benchmark for their own portfolios’ performances. This index can provide a comprehensive assessment of the small-cap market’s health.

  3. Risk and Reward: Investments in small-cap companies come with their own set of risks and potential rewards. Typically, small-cap stocks are more volatile than large-cap stocks. Therefore, investing in Russell 2000 Index might be more profitable during periods of economic growth, but the risk of losses can also be higher during periods of market volatility or economic downturns.


The Russell 2000 Index plays a crucial role in the financial world as it serves as a benchmark for small-cap companies in the United States. Widely used by fund managers as a performance measure, the index encompasses the smallest 2000 stocks in the Russell 3000 Index, which collectively represent approximately 10% of the total market capitalization of the Russell 3000. Its constituents span various sectors, offering a comprehensive, diversified exposure to the US’s smaller businesses, often seen as the economy’s growth engine. Additionally, it’s commonly viewed as the best gauge to understand the performance and trends of small-cap equities, thus offering invaluable insights to investors.


The Russell 2000 Index is primarily used as a benchmark for small-cap US stocks, giving industry professionals and investors an accurate and comprehensive barometer to measure and assess the health and performance of small-cap companies. It is instrumental for those with a specific focus on smaller companies or a desire for a diversified portfolio. With its comprehensive coverage, the Russell 2000 Index provides an in-depth view of how this particular segment of the economy is performing. This index is particularly important for portfolio managers and institutional investors who utilize it to construct index funds and structure portfolios that replicate the performance of the US small-cap market.Beyond this, the Russell 2000 index is widely used in the finance world for various passive and active strategies. It provides a basis for index-linked products like exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and derivatives, including futures and options. Furthermore, analysts and portfolio managers often compare the performance of individual small-cap stocks or portfolios with the Russell 2000 to assess relative performance. It is also used to identify trends in the small-cap marketplace. Thus, the Russell 2000 Index is not just a unit of measure, but a critical tool for analysis, investment strategy, and financial products in the small-cap landscape.


1. Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc.: This is a real estate company that owns and operates numerous shopping centers across the United States. They are part of the Russell 2000 Index, representing mid-sized U.S. companies, and their stock performance can have an effect on the overall value of the Index.2. Texas Roadhouse Inc.: Texas Roadhouse is a popular restaurant chain in the US and its stock is also included in the Russell 2000 Index. Fluctuations in Texas Roadhouse’s stock as it responds to events such as changes in the economy, interest rates, or consumer spending, can impact the Russell 2000.3. MannKind Corporation: This biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery and development of therapeutic products for diseases such as diabetes is also a constituent of the Russell 2000 index. Their stock performance, which could be affected by factors like breakthroughs in medication, regulation changes, and more, can influence the index’s overall performance.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Russell 2000 Index?

The Russell 2000 Index is a small-cap stock market index that comprises 2000 of the smallest companies in the Russell 3000 Index. It was created by the Frank Russell Company and represents approximately 10% of the total market capitalization of that index.

How is the Russell 2000 Index calculated?

The Russell 2000 Index is made up of the smallest 2000 stocks from the Russell 3000 Index, sorted by market capitalization. Each stock’s influence on the index’s value is directly proportional to its relative market value.

Why is the Russell 2000 Index useful?

The Russell 2000 Index provides investors a comprehensive, unbiased, and stable barometer of the broad market unlike single stock, sectors and active strategies, which may have analytical biases.

What types of companies are included in the Russell 2000 Index?

The Russell 2000 Index includes a variety of small-cap companies traded on US stock exchanges. The sectors covered are diverse, including Technology, Financial Services, Consumer Discretionary, Industrials, Healthcare, and others.

How can I invest in the Russell 2000 Index?

You cannot invest directly in the Russell 2000 Index, but you can invest in an index fund or ETF that seeks to replicate the performance of the Index.

Is the Russell 2000 Index a good investment?

Whether the Russell 2000 Index is a good investment depends on individual investment goals and risk tolerance. Historically, it has outperformed the large-cap indices over the long run, but also tends to be more volatile.

How does the Russell 2000 Index differ from the S&P 500?

The major difference is the size of the companies included in the indexes. The Russell 2000 represents small-cap stocks, while the S&P 500 contains large-cap stocks. This means the Russell 2000 is generally more volatile and high-risk but potentially high-return, while the S&P 500 is steadier and has historically been a less risky investment.

How frequently is the Russell 2000 Index updated?

The list of stocks in the Russell 2000 Index is updated once a year, typically in June, but the value of the index is recalculated every second during market hours.

How does the Russell 2000 Index affect the stock market?

As a barometer for small-cap stocks, the performance of the Russell 2000 can give investors insights into business conditions not just within those companies, but also across the wider economy.

Related Finance Terms

  • Small-cap stocks
  • Market capitalization
  • Equity index
  • Index investing
  • Portfolio diversification

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