How To Do PCA Of Dow Jones Index ^DJI?

In this post we are going to do PCA on Dow Jones Index. PCA is short for Principal Component Analysis. Dow Jones Industrial Average ticker symbol is ^DJI. Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) is a stock index comprising of 30 blue chip stocks listed on New York Stock Exchange. The full list of 30 component stocks is below:

AXP American Express Co, AAPL Apple Inc, BA Boeing Co, CAT Caterpillar Inc, CSCO Cisco Systems Inc, CVX Chevron Corp, DD DuPont, XOM Exxon Mobil Corp, GE General Electric Co, GS Goldman Sachs Group Inc, IBM International Business Machines Corp, INTC Intel Corp, JNJ Johnson & Johnson, KO Coca-Cola Co, JPM JPMorgan Chase & Co, MCD McDonald’s Corp, MMM 3M Co, MRK Merck & Co Inc, MSFT Microsoft Corp, NKE Nike Inc, PFE Pfizer Inc, PG Procter & Gamble Co, TRV Travelers Companies Inc, UNH UnitedHealth Group Inc, UTX United Technologies Corp, VZ Verizon Communications Inc, V Visa Inc, WMT Wal Mart Stores Inc and DIS Walt Disney Co.

You can see DJI includes many famous stocks like Apple, Boeing, Coca Cola, Intel, IBM, Wall Mart, Walt Disney, Microsoft etc. These 30 stocks have been chosen to represent the different sectors of US economy.These stocks have been combined into one index that is considered to be a barometer of the US economy. When Dow Jones goes up, this is considered good for US economy. On the other hand when Dow Jones goes down, this is considered to be bad for the US economy. Did you check our new course Stochastic Calculus For Traders?

In this post we will do the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of this famous Dow Jones Industrial Average Index. First, what is Principal Component Analysis? PCA is basically done to reduce the dimension of the original data set. In the case of DJI index we have 30 stocks. It will be difficult to follow all these 30 stocks when we analyze DJI. We will use an orthogonal transformation to reduce these 30 components to just a few components. All these components will be orthogonal. First few components will be able to explain 90+% variability of the index. Read the post on how I made $500K using machine learning and high frequency trading by Jesse Spaulding. You can watch this video below that explains what is this PCA.

Now this was the first part of the PCA video series. PCA is a statistical procedure that converts a set of data comprising correlated observations into a new set of data that is orthogonal meaning the new observations are uncorrelated with one another. This helps in reducing the dimension of the data set. This transformation is done in such a manner that the first principal component has the highest variance. The first principal component explains the major portion of the original data. The second, third and the rest of the principal components are orthogonal to the first and explains the remaining portion of variability in the original data. Dow Jones Index comprises of 30 blue chip stocks that are correlated with each other. After all they are all affected by the US economy. When FED takes a policy decision these stocks move together. You can see the second part of this video series below. Did you take a look at our course Econometrics For Traders?

After watching the above 2 videos you should have a fair idea of what PCA is. Basically we want to reduce the dimensionality of the data and make the observations orthogonal to each other. This is something called Eigenvector Eigenvalue problem. Doing PCA helps you figure out the important features in the data set and remove the least important features that are not relevant and spurious. Before we continue, you should first read the post on how to import the data from Yahoo Finance using Pandas. First we need to read the Dow Jones Industrial Average data from Yahoo Finance. We will input the 30 component stock list and python is going to download the data from Yahoo Finance.

#import the modules
import numpy as np
import pandas as pd
import as web
from sklearn.decomposition import KernelPCA

symbols = [‘AXP’, ‘AAPL’, ‘BA’, ‘CAT’, ‘CSCO’, ‘CVX’, ‘DD’, ‘XOM’,
‘GE’, ‘GS’, ‘IBM’, ‘INTC’, ‘JNJ’, ‘KO’, ‘JPM’, ‘MCD’, ‘MMM’,
‘MRK’, ‘MSFT’, ‘NKE’, ‘PFE’, ‘PG’, ‘TRV’, ‘UNH’, ‘UTX’, ‘VZ’,
‘V’, ‘WMT’, ‘DIS’, ‘^DJI’]

#download the data from yahoo finance

data = pd.DataFrame()
for sym in symbols:
data[sym] = web.DataReader(sym, data_source=’yahoo’)[‘Close’]

#remove the missing the data from the dataframe
data = data.dropna()

#seperate the DJIA index data from the above dataframe
dji = pd.DataFrame(data.pop(‘^DJI’))

#show the top rows of the data in the dataframe

This is the output:

>>> >>> >>> >>> data[data.columns[:30]].head()
AXP        AAPL         BA        CAT       CSCO        CVX  \
2010-01-04  40.919998  214.009998  56.180000  58.549999  24.690001  79.059998
2010-01-05  40.830002  214.379993  58.020000  59.250000  24.580000  79.620003
2010-01-06  41.490002  210.969995  59.779999  59.430000  24.420000  79.629997
2010-01-07  41.980000  210.580000  62.200001  59.669998  24.530001  79.330002
2010-01-08  41.950001  211.980005  61.599998  60.340000  24.660000  79.470001

DD        XOM     GE          GS    …            NKE  \
Date                                                   …
2010-01-04  34.259997  69.150002  15.45  173.080002    …      65.349998
2010-01-05  33.929998  69.419998  15.53  176.139999    …      65.610001
2010-01-06  34.040000  70.019997  15.45  174.259995    …      65.209999
2010-01-07  34.389999  69.800003  16.25  177.669998    …      65.849998
2010-01-08  33.939996  69.519997  16.60  174.309998    …      65.720001

PFE         PG        TRV        UNH        UTX         VZ  \
2010-01-04  18.930000  61.119999  49.810001  31.530001  71.629997  33.279869
2010-01-05  18.660000  61.139999  48.630001  31.480000  70.559998  33.339868
2010-01-06  18.600000  60.849998  47.939999  31.790001  70.190002  31.919873
2010-01-07  18.530001  60.520000  48.630001  33.009998  70.489998  31.729875
2010-01-08  18.680000  60.439999  48.560001  32.700001  70.629997  31.749874

V        WMT        DIS
2010-01-04  88.139999  54.230000  32.070000
2010-01-05  87.129997  53.689999  31.990000
2010-01-06  85.959999  53.570000  31.820000
2010-01-07  86.760002  53.599998  31.830000
2010-01-08  87.000000  53.330002  31.879999

[5 rows x 29 columns]

Now have imported the data from Yahoo Finance. Let’s apply Principal Component Analysis on the data and find the number of components! First we will need to normalize the data before we can apply the KernelPCA function. This normalization is done to bring all the data to the same scale.

#normalize the data

scale_function = lambda x: (x – x.mean()) / x.std()

#apply PCA without restriction

pca = KernelPCA().fit(data.apply(scale_function))

#find total number of components


The total number of components calculated by PCA are:


Python PCA module has calculated 868 components as shown above. Now these components are too much. We should check how much variability is being explained by the first 10 components.

#reduce the number of components to 10


#again normalize the data

get_we = lambda x: x / x.sum()

Now below is the output:

>>> get_we(pca.lambdas_)[:10]
array([ 0.63370831,  0.16888437,  0.05263246,  0.04645757,  0.02918477,
0.01786925,  0.0096092 ,  0.00724553,  0.00651697,  0.00459423])

You can see the first component can explain the data 63% while the 10th component only explains the data 0.04%. So we can use 5 components in reality.



First 5 components explain 93% of the variability of the data. Now we construct an index based on the first  component only.

#Now we construct a PCA index and compare it with the original DJIA index

pca = KernelPCA(n_components=1).fit(data.apply(scale_function))
dji[‘PCA_1’] = pca.transform(-data)

#draw the two plots
import matplotlib
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

dji.apply(scale_function).plot(figsize=(8, 4))

This is the plot of the PCA_1 index and DJI actual index.


There is difference. You can see PCA_1 is following Dow Jones index by there is some difference.  Since the first component is only explaining 63% of the variability we don’t expect it to follow Dow Jones very closely. We should include the first 5 PCA components into PCA_5 and see how well it follows the Dow Jones. We plot the 3 lines PCA_1, PCA_5 and DJIA and see how well these 2 PCA indexes approximate DJIA.

#improve the results
pca = KernelPCA(n_components=5).fit(data.apply(scale_function))
pca_components = pca.transform(-data)
weights = get_we(pca.lambdas_)
dji['PCA_5'] =, weights)

import matplotlib

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
dji.apply(scale_function).plot(figsize=(8, 4))

Below is the plot of the three lines on the same graph!


There is some difference still. Anyway the purpose of this post was only educational. We wanted to show how to do PCA on Dow Jones Index.