A stock market or equity market is a public entity for the trading of company stock (shares) and derivatives at an agreed price. The stocks are listed and traded on stock exchanges which are entities of a corporation or mutual organization specialized in the business of bringing buyers and sellers of the organizations to a listing of stocks and securities together. Participants in the stock market include individual retail investors, institutional investors such as mutual funds, banks, insurance companies and hedge funds, and also publicly traded corporations trading in their own shares. Their orders usually end up with a professional at a stock exchange, who executes the order of buying or selling.
The purpose of a stock exchange is to facilitate the exchange of securities between buyers and sellers, thus providing a marketplace (virtual or real). The exchanges provide real-time trading information on the listed securities, facilitating price discovery. Some exchanges are physical locations where transactions are carried out on a trading floor, by a method known as open outcry. This type of auction is used in stock exchanges and commodity exchanges where traders may enter verbal bids and offers simultaneously. The other type of stock exchange is a virtual kind, composed of a network of computers where trades are made electronically via traders. Actual trades are based on an auction market model where a potential buyer bids a specific price for a stock and a potential seller asks a specific price for the stock. When the bid and ask prices match, a sale takes place, on a first-come-first-served basis if there are multiple bidders or askers at a given price.
A few decades ago, worldwide, buyers and sellers were individual investors, such as wealthy businessmen, usually with long family histories to particular corporations. Over time, institutions such as pension funds, insurance companies, and mutual funds have become the major players in the stock market. The rise of the institutional investor has brought with it some improvements in market operations. One improvement is that fees have been markedly reduced for the 'small' investor.
Stock markets provide a considerable amount of information daily. And the rise of small investors in the stock market has led to an increased demand for Stock Market News. Stock market news analysis consists of the tracking, recording, analysis, and interpretation of the flux and change of the stock market. Such analysis could include the performance of well-known and not-so-well-known companies. This form of journalism can also cover news and features articles about the people, places and issues related to the stock market in particular and the financial industry in general.
Stock market news is disseminated in a variety of ways. Most newspapers, magazines, radio, and television news shows carry a segment dedicated to the trends of the trading day. However, the internet has fast become the medium of choice for a considerable number of stock market news watchers. On the internet, such persons can get not only up-to-the-minute reports on trading, but also detailed and in depth financial journalism.
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