Blue chip

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"Blue chip" is a phrase used to refer to financial instruments, usually equity stocks, that are considered to be strong, safe investments. Tracking blue chip stocks is a way for financial markets to gauge the overall health and strength of a given economy. While many lesser companies, and their stocks and bonds, may come and go due to the vicissitudes of the marketplace, gauging the performance of proven market leaders with long track records smooths out the "bumps" in the daily and annual ups and downs of a given stock market.

A prime example is the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the United States. Other countries' stock exchanges usually have similar tracking indexes.