Caesars, DraftKings Inch Closer to Nasdaq-100 Index Inclusion

Posted on: December 21, 2020, 07:24h. 

Last updated on: December 21, 2020, 10:22h.

Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR), DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG), and some other gaming stocks are on the way to potentially joining the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX), one of the world’s most widely followed equity benchmarks.

Nasdaq-100 Index
The Nasdaq market site in New York. Some gaming stocks are close to joining the Nasdaq-100 Index. (Image: Bloomberg)

Last week, the Nasdaq Next Generation 100 Index, which serves as the “minor leagues” for the NDX, rebalanced with the Caesars Palace operator, the daily fantasy sports site DraftKings (DFS), and Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) added to the gauge’s roster. That trio of gaming names joins Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN), which was added to the index after being dropped from the Nasdaq-100 a year ago.

NDX inclusion is prestigious and possibility beneficial to any company for multiple reasons, including the index’s status as a home to some of the world’s most beloved brands, including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

Brand equity and research and development can be as impactful as the balance sheet in some respects — and have contributed significantly to the performance of the NDX and its component companies,” according to Nasdaq research.

The Nasdaq-100 is comprised of the 100 largest non-financial Nasdaq-listed companies, while the next generation benchmark is a basket of the firms ranked 101 to 200 by market capitalization.

Who Goes First?

Among the aforementioned gaming names, DraftKings accounts for 1.35 percent of the Next Generation 100 Index, the largest slice among the quartet, owing to its market value of $21.62 billion as of today.

Based on current market caps, that means the online sportsbook operator would be the first of the four to join NDX, assuming it’s not passed by one of its rivals. Still, DraftKings has some work to do to join the Nasdaq-100, because there are 15 other members of the next generation gauge from other sectors with bigger market caps.

Caesars has a weight of 1.01 percent in the smaller index, placing it sixth among the benchmark’s consumer discretionary components. Penn National, which is on a torrid pace of late, gaining 37 percent over the past month, checks in at 0.92 percent, while Wynn Resorts is 0.80 percent of the NDX training ground.

The Nasdaq-100 rebalances once a year, always in December, so there’s ample time for any of these stocks to gain better positioning for NDX inclusion.

Why It Matters

The relevance of Caesars, DraftKings, or the other names highlighted here making it into the Nasdaq-100 is easily explained.

Assuming that announcement happens, active and passive fund managers tracking the NDX have to buy the new additions to come in line with the benchmark, likely sending share prices higher in the process.

In the US, two exchange traded funds (ETFs) that follow the Nasdaq-100 have nearly $150 billion in combined assets under management. That figure doesn’t include index funds and active mutual funds following the gauge, nor does it include funds listed in other countries benchmarking to the index.