--> Best Online Share Trading Company in Indore

About Us
Help Desk
Contact Us
Sign In
  • Home
  • blogs
  • Understanding the Sensex and Nifty indexes

Understanding the Sensex and Nifty indexes

Sensex and Nifty indexes

Ever heard your uncle talk about the "Sensex" soaring or the "Nifty" crashing? Confused by all the financial jargon thrown around? Worry not! This blog is your friendly guide to understanding the Sensex and Nifty, the two most popular stock market indices in India, without needing an economics degree. So, grab a cup of chai, and let's dive in!

Introduction to Stock Market Indices

Imagine the stock market as a giant bazaar, buzzing with companies selling their shares. Tracking the performance of each individual shop would be chaotic! That's where stock market indices come in. Think of them as baskets carefully curated with a selection of shops, representing different sectors of the market. By monitoring these baskets, investors get a quick snapshot of the market's overall health.

What is an index and Types of Stock Market Indices 

An index is a numerical representation of the average performance of a group of stocks. Just like the average score tells you how well a cricket team fared, an index tells you how a specific "basket" of stocks is doing. It came from the mathematical concept of Indexing.

There are different types of Stock Market Indices, here are a few popular ones

1. Benchmark Index

Think of this as the headline indicator, reflecting the overall health of the market. Just like a thermometer tells you the room temperature, a benchmark index like the BSE Sensex or NSE Nifty tells you how the average stock is performing. These indices track a select group of prominent companies, offering a quick snapshot of market trends.

2. Broad Market Index

Want a wider view beyond the top players? Broad market indices like the BSE 100 expand the scope, tracking a larger pool of companies. Think of it like zooming out on a map – you still see the major landmarks, but also gain insights into less prominent, yet potentially impactful, players.

3. Market Capitalization Index

Companies come in all shapes and sizes, and so do their stock market weights. Market capitalization indices, like BSE Smallcap and BSE Midcap, categorize companies based on their total market value (number of shares multiplied by share price). This allows you to focus on specific segments – small, medium, or large companies – based on your risk appetite and growth expectations.

4. Sectoral or Industry-based Index

Ever wondered how a particular industry, like healthcare or technology, is performing? Look no further than sectoral indices! These specialized gauges, like the CNX IT or Nifty FMCG Index, track the performance of companies within specific sectors. This laser-focused approach helps you analyze specific areas of the market and identify potential winners or losers.

Understanding the Sensex and Nifty indexes

Now, let's talk about the stars of the show - the Sensex and Nifty. These are the two most widely followed broad-based indices in India, meaning they capture a snapshot of the overall Indian stock market.

  • Sensex (S&P BSE SENSEX): This grand ol' daddy of Indian indices represents 30 of the largest and most actively traded companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Think of it as a basket with 30 blue-chip companies, like Reliance Industries, Tata Consultancy Services, and Infosys.
  • Nifty (NIFTY 50): This younger contender tracks the performance of the 50 largest companies listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE). Imagine it as a slightly larger basket with 50 prominent companies across various sectors.

How to identify Sensex and Nifty

You'll often see these indices represented by their abbreviations followed by a numerical value. For example, "Sensex 60,000" or "Nifty 18,000." This number reflects the index value, which essentially tells you the combined market value of all the companies in the basket at that point in time.Identifying these indexes is easy! Look for the following symbols:

  • Sensex: ^SENSEX
  • Nifty: ^NSEI

How do we Calculate Sensex and Nifty? 

Calculating these indices involves some complex algorithms, but here's a simplified explanation:

  • Imagine each company in the basket has a "weight" based on its size and importance.
  • The price change of each company's stock is multiplied by its weight.
  • These weighted changes are then added up and adjusted to a base value to reflect the overall movement of the index.

Think of it like calculating the average weight of your friends. You consider each friend's weight, adjust for their height, and voila, you have the average weight of the group!

Difference between Sensex and Nifty 




Number of companies



Stock exchange



Base year



Base value




Large-cap, blue-chip companies

Large-cap and mid-cap companies


Generally outperforms Nifty in the long run

More volatile due to broader representation

Important Points:

  • Both indices are important indicators of the Indian stock market's health.
  • While the Sensex has a longer history, the Nifty is more liquid and actively traded.
  • Choosing between them depends on your investment goals and risk tolerance.


Navigating the stock market can seem intimidating, but understanding the Sensex and Nifty is a big step forward. Remember, these indices are just tools to gauge the overall market direction. Before investing, always do your own research and consult a financial advisor!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the benefits of tracking the Sensex and Nifty?
Ans: If you are a regular trader, tracking the Sensex and Nifty is important and serves you several benefits, few of these important benefits are mentioned below:

  • Market Health: Get a quick snapshot of the overall Indian stock market performance.
  • Investment Decisions: Identify potential trends and make informed investment choices.
  • Sector Performance: Analyze specific industries using sectoral indices.
  • Comparison: Compare current performance with historical data for better understanding.

2. Where can I find information about the Sensex and Nifty?
Ans: To find the information about the Sensex and Nifty

3. Is it advisable to invest directly in the Sensex or Nifty?

No, you cannot directly invest in these indices. However, you can invest in funds that track these indices, like Index Funds or Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

4. What are the risks involved in investing based on Sensex and Nifty movements?

  • Past performance is not indicative of future results.
  • Market fluctuations can lead to losses.
  • Understanding your risk tolerance is crucial before investing.

5. Are there any alternatives to Sensex and Nifty for broader market analysis?

Yes, several other indices offer different perspectives, such as:

  • BSE 100: Tracks the top 100 companies on the BSE.
  • Nifty Next 50: Focuses on mid-cap companies with high growth potential.
  • Sectoral indices: Provide insights into specific industries like healthcare, technology, etc.

6. What are some additional factors to consider besides Sensex and Nifty before making investment decisions?

  • Your individual financial goals and risk tolerance.
  • Company-specific fundamentals and future prospects.
  • Diversification across different asset classes and sectors.
  • Consulting a qualified financial advisor for personalized guidance.

Related Blogs

Issued in the interest of investors: Prevent Unauthorised transactions in your trading and Demat account. Update your mobile numbers/email IDs with Tradingbells. Receive alerts and information of all debit and other important transactions in your trading and Demat account directly from Exchange/Depository on your mobile/email at the end of the day. KYC is a onetime exercise while dealing in securities markets. Once KYC is done through a SEBI registered intermediary (broker, DP, Mutual Fund etc.), you need not undergo the same process again when you approach another intermediary.

No need to issue cheques by investors while subscribing to IPO. Just write the bank account number and sign in the application form to authorise your bank to make payment in case of allotment. No worries of refund as money remains in investor's account.

2021-22, TradingBells All rights reserved