Freak Occurence: The S&P 498 (!)
Dazzle your friends and perplex your neighbors: 'Cuz for the next two days... the S&P 500 index will only have 498 members in it.
That's because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were kicked out after the close of trading Wednesday -- but their replacements, Salesforce.com and Fastenal, don't go in until after the close Friday!
That not only leaves MGIC and Dillards as the 2 smallest members of the index but also the only two with market caps less than $1 billion.
But wait... there's more..!
Paul Hickey of Bespoke Investment Group wrote me to say:
"The rationale behind taking FNM and FRE out is that their market caps were below the $5bln threshold required for inclusion. However, as of Tuesday there were only 381 stocks in the S&P 500 with market caps of more than $5 bln, and in the US there aren’t even 500 stocks with a market cap of more than $5 bln!"
Furthermore, CNBC colleague Juan Aruego discovered another index anomoly due to the Fannie-Freddie eviction. Their ousting has actually caused the Q3 consensus earnings estimate to go negative, since both companies were on-tap to post a sharp rebound from their disastrous year-ago results.