Back in January 1920, Sears, Roebuck & Co. was added to the Dow Industrials and remained as part of the index for nearly 76 years until it got booted out in November 1999. And by 1965, Sears was the fifth largest stock in the United States.
In fact, Sears' name, in one form or another, has been in the S&P 500 since the index’s creation 55 years ago.
The Sears exiting the S&P 500 on Tuesday, however, is not completely the same Sears that was originally included in the index back in 1957.
After emerging from bankruptcy, Kmart Holding (old ticker KMRT) acquired Sears, Roebuck & Co. (old ticker S) in a deal that closed in March 2005. The new company took the name Sears Holdings and began trading under "SHLD," the ticker it holds today.
End of an era for Sears and the S&P 500
So why the change? S&P is pulling Sears Holdings out of the index as the stock’s public float (shares that regular investors can trade) has been below the 50 percent of the index requirement “for an extended period of time.” Eddie Lampert’s ESL Investments owns a majority of Sears’ outstanding shares.
Although the stock has struggled over the past several years (it’s down 70 percent from its all-time high in April 2007) Sears Holdings has been one of the best performers in the S&P 500 this year. The stock is up 81 percent in 2012, the 6th biggest gainer in the index.