The S&P 500 isn't the only index cleaning house before the holidays. The Nasdaq 100 is also making sure that it is representative of the more prolific stocks trading on its namesake exchange.
Let's go over the seven growth stocks being added to the index.
-- The leading content-delivery network, using its fleet of servers to offer speedy and secure website pages and media files. (Nasdaq: AKAM)
-- China's leading travel website. (Nasdaq: CTRP)
-- True to its name, this retailer sells everything from housewares to toys to books for $1 or less. (Nasdaq: DLTR)
-- The networking speedster has seen its stock nearly triple in 2010. (Nasdaq: FFIV)
-- Despite its two-letter ticker symbol, the semiconductor giant is a Nasdaq baby. (Nasdaq: MU)
-- The flick flicker has grown its army of couch potatoes to 16.9 million subscribers, with plans to grow to as many as 19.7 million members by the end of this month. (Nasdaq: NFLX)
Whole Foods Market
-- The organic grocer has been posting healthy comps in recent quarters, as shoppers stock up on its wholesome goods. (Nasdaq: WFMI)
It's true that the Nasdaq 100 isn't as widely tracked by index fund managers, though the PowerShares QQQ ETF that mimics the gauge is frequently among the most actively traded investments. This move isn't going to have the same kind of stock-popping ramifications as the S&P 500's modest makeover. However, it's also telling that the S&P 500 is only replacing four of its 500 components -- or less than 1% of its constituency -- while the Nasdaq 100 is making a bolder push by replacing 7% of its stocks.
Does this make the S&P 500 the steadier index or the Nasdaq 100 the more responsive one?
I have always felt that the Dow 30 and to a lesser extent the S&P 500 are too slow to catch on to relevant investing trends. This critique may not necessarily apply this time. Netflix and F5 are two of the four names that will be added to the S&P 500 by the end of the week. Micron Technology, Whole Foods, and Akamai are already there. That leaves Dollar Tree as the one true omission, because the S&P 500's stateside approach means that Ctrip will never be added.
However, we can still knock a broader 500-stock gauge for taking as long to add Netflix and F5 as the leaner Nasdaq 100. Given the huge gains put up by both of those stocks over the past year, it would have marginally helped the index's performance if they had been added at least a year earlier.
Either way, congrats to the seven new Nasdaq 100 additions. They've earned it.
Would you buy an ETF tracking the Nasdaq 100 over the S&P 500? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
Akamai Technologies is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Netflix and Whole Foods Market are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Ctrip.com is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has never been added to an index fund. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Netflix. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.