Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway joins S&P 500 Index

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Warren Buffett's legendary Berkshire Hathaway joined the S&P 500 index after markets closed Friday.

Class B (BRKB) shares of Berkshire Hathaway fell during the first half of Friday's session, tracking the broader market, but began to climb in the afternoon and spiked during the last hour of trading. It ended 1.25% higher on the day, at $77.65 per share on volume of 66.4 million shares, 91% higher than the average 5.5 million.

Friday afternoon's surge in the stock's price and trading volume was a result of S&P 500 index fund managers buying the stock before close, said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co.

Companies added to the S&P 500 usually experience a boost in stock price because money managers that run index funds tied to the benchmark need to own it.

Shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway approved a 50-for-1 split of Class B common stock last month, so the company could offer shares to investors in Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNI, Fortune 500), which it agreed to buy in November for $34 billion. Berkshire completed its purchase of the railroad company Friday.

The split cut the price of Class B shares from more than $3,300 a pop, to a more affordable $66, and paved the way for Berkshire to finally join a major stock index.

Berkshire will officially begin trading on the S&P 500 Tuesday, since the market is closed Monday in observance of President's Day.

One criteria for joining the S&P 500 Index is that the stock must be widely available. The index is a common proxy for the U.S. stock market, and major index funds that track the blue chip index hold shares of its companies.

Berkshire's Class A (BRKA, Fortune 500) stock is much pricier -- closing above $115,000 a share Friday.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,042.90 -28.32 -0.17%
Nasdaq 4,493.39 -12.46 -0.28%
S&P 500 1,972.29 -5.51 -0.28%
Treasuries 2.51 0.02 0.68%
Data as of 3:40am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 14.79 -0.32 -2.12%
Bank of America Corp... 17.05 0.04 0.24%
eBay Inc 56.63 3.97 7.54%
Apple Inc 100.75 0.64 0.64%
General Electric Co 25.62 0.20 0.79%
Data as of Sep 30

Sections

CNNMoney's Italian-American investing correspondents did a taste test of Olive Garden's food. They agree with hedge fund Starboard: It's not very appetizing. More

Even limited air operations could cost up to $4 billion a year, says a think tank, while large ground forces could cost $1.8 billion a month. More

Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong are using FireChat to improve communication and organize. More

On Wednesday, 17% of First Green Bank's 66 employees will get a raise under the company's new "living wage" program. The guarantee: At least about $30,000 a year. More

This mom of four only makes $29,000 a year and is losing $400 a month because the state is garnishing her paycheck over a debt. Now she is about to be evicted from her apartment. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.