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What will the Dow look like in 25 years?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has always represented some of most highly capitalized and influential companies in the U.S. economy. While predicting which stocks will be in the index in 25 years is nearly impossible, history might give some clues.

Of the five biggest components in the Dow 25 years ago, only one remains in the index today: IBM. The information technology stock was trading at a price of $27.84 in 1989; over the next quarter-century it morphed from a $54 billion company into a $183 billion company.

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Meanwhile, the two biggest Dow components in 1989, Navistar and Eastman Kodak, were removed from the index in 1991 and 2004, respectively. Eastman Kodak traded at a price of $46.25 in 1989; now it trades at a mere $0.03.

Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Scott Eelis | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

The Dow has also reflected the shift in technology over the past two decades with stocks like Goodyear, a Dow staple since 1930, replaced by newcomers like Intel in 1999.

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The question remains whether Dow staples like General Electric, 3M and Chevron will keep their place in the index in the future 25 years.

— By CNBC's Elizabeth Schulze and Dominic Chu. CNBC's Gina Francolla contributed to this report

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