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Published: Tuesday, 3/6/2007

S&P 500 turns 50 with one Toledo company on list

When Standard & Poor's Corp. hooked up its brand-new computer and began crunching stock-exchange data 50 years ago, five of its first S&P 500 were big Toledo companies and another got its start in Toledo.

Over the years, numerous other Toledo-area firms were added to the S&P 500, which marked its 50th anniversary by a bell-ringing ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange.

But today only one survives on the list - nursing-home operator Manor Care Inc., added in 1998. Ten others are gone because of mergers, bankruptcies, headquarters relocations, or poor market performance.

Owens-Illinois Inc., one of the original S&P 500 when the index began on March 4, 1957, has the rare distinction of being kicked off the list twice - in 1987 when it was taken over by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., and in 2000, nine years after it went public again, when its stock hit an all-time low of $2.50 a share.

Until 1957, S&P had only 90 stocks on its average, but the advent of more powerful computers brought in the era of larger indexes, updated more frequently.

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