Stock Exchange

A stock market or equity market is a public (a loose network of economic transactions, not a physical facility or discrete) entity for the trading of company stock (shares) and derivatives at an agreed price; these are securities listed on a stock exchange as well as those only traded privately. The size of the world stock market was estimated at about $36. 6 trillion at the start of October 2008. The total world derivatives market has been estimated at about $791 trillion face or nominal value,[2] 11 times the size of the entire world economy.
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. The largest stock market in the United States, by market capitalization, is the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). In Canada, the largest stock market is the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Major European examples of stock exchanges include the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange, Paris Bourse, and the Deutsche Borse (Frankfurt Stock Exchange). In Africa, examples include Nigerian Stock Exchange, JSE Limited, etc. Asian examples include the Singapore Exchange, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and the Bombay Stock Exchange. In Latin America, there are such exchanges as the BM&F Bovespa and the BMV.

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, markets have become more “institutionalized”; buyers and sellers are largely institutions (e. g. , pension funds, insurance companies, mutual funds, index funds, exchange-traded funds, hedge funds, investor groups, banks and various other financial institutions). The rise of the institutional investor has brought with it some improvements in market operations.
Thus, the government was responsible for “fixed” (and exorbitant) fees being markedly reduced for the ‘small’ investor, but only after the large institutions had managed to break the brokers’ solid front on fees. (They then went to ‘negotiated’ fees, but only for large institutions. History : Established in 1875, the Bombay Stock Exchange is Asia’s first stock exchange. In 12th century France the courratiers de change were concerned with managing and regulating the debts of agricultural communities on behalf of the banks.
Because these men also traded with debts, they could be called the first brokers. A common misbelief is that in late 13th century Bruges commodity traders gathered inside the house of a man called Van der Beurze, and in 1309 they became the “Brugse Beurse”, institutionalizing what had been, until then, an informal meeting, but actually, the family Van der Beurze had a building in Antwerp where those gatherings occurred; the Van der Beurze had Antwerp, as most of the merchants of that period, as their primary place for trading.
The idea quickly spread around Flanders and neighboring counties and “Beurzen” soon opened in Ghent and Amsterdam. In the middle of the 13th century, Venetian bankers began to trade in government securities. In 1351 the Venetian government outlawed spreading rumors intended to lower the price of government funds. Bankers in Pisa, Verona, Genoa and Florence also began trading in government securities during the 14th century. This was only possible because these were independent city states not ruled by a duke but a council of influential citizens.
Italian companies were also the first to issue shares. Companies in England and the Low Countries followed in the 16th century. The Dutch East India Company (founded in 1602) was the first joint-stock company to get a fixed capital stock and as a result, continuous trade in company stock emerged on the Amsterdam Exchange. Soon thereafter, a lively trade in various derivatives, among which options and repos, emerged on the Amsterdam market. Dutch traders also pioneered short selling – a practice which was banned by the Dutch authorities as early as 1610. 7] There are now stock markets in virtually every developed and most developing economies, with the world’s biggest market being in the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, India, China, Canada, Germany’s (Frankfurt Stock Exchange), France, South Korea and the Netherlands. Importance of stock market : The stock market is one of the most important sources for companies to raise money. This allows businesses to be publicly traded, or raise additional financial capital for expansion by selling shares of ownership of the company in a public market.
The liquidity that an exchange provides affords investors the ability to quickly and easily sell securities. This is an attractive feature of investing in stocks, compared to other less liquid investments such as real estate. History has shown that the price of shares and other assets is an important part of the dynamics of economic activity, and can influence or be an indicator of social mood. An economy where the stock market is on the rise is considered to be an up-and-coming economy.
In fact, the stock market is often considered the primary indicator of a country’s economic strength and development. Rising share prices, for instance, tend to be associated with increased business investment and vice versa. Share prices also affect the wealth of households and their consumption. Therefore, central banks tend to keep an eye on the control and behavior of the stock market and, in general, on the smooth operation of financial system functions. Financial stability is the raison d’etre of central banks.
Exchanges also act as the clearinghouse for each transaction, meaning that they collect and deliver the shares, and guarantee payment to the seller of a security. This eliminates the risk to an individual buyer or seller that the counterparty could default on the transaction. The smooth functioning of all these activities facilitates economic growth in that lower costs and enterprise risks promote the production of goods and services as well as employment. In this way the financial system contributes to increased prosperity. Stock market index :
The movements of the prices in a market or section of a market are captured in price indices called stock market indices, of which there are many, e. g. , the S&P, the FTSE and the Euronext indices. Such indices are usually market capitalization weighted, with the weights reflecting the contribution of the stock to the index. The constituents of the index are reviewed frequently to include/exclude stocks in order to reflect the changing business environment. Derivative instruments : Financial innovation has brought many new financial instruments whose pay-offs or values depend on the prices of stocks.
Some examples are exchange-traded funds (ETFs), stock index and stock options, equity swaps, single-stock futures, and stock index futures. These last two may be traded on futures exchanges (which are distinct from stock exchanges—their history traces back to commodities futures exchanges), or traded over-the-counter. As all of these products are only derived from stocks, they are sometimes considered to be traded in a (hypothetical) derivatives market, rather than the (hypothetical) stock market. Leveraged strategies :
Stock that a trader does not actually own may be traded using short selling; margin buying may be used to purchase stock with borrowed funds; or, derivatives may be used to control large blocks of stocks for a much smaller amount of money than would be required by outright purchase or sales. Short selling : In short selling, the trader borrows stock (usually from his brokerage which holds its clients’ shares or its own shares on account to lend to short sellers) then sells it on the market, hoping for the price to fall.
The trader eventually buys back the stock, making money if the price fell in the meantime and losing money if it rose. Exiting a short position by buying back the stock is called “covering a short position. ” This strategy may also be used by unscrupulous traders in illiquid or thinly traded markets to artificially lower the price of a stock. Hence most markets either prevent short selling or place restrictions on when and how a short sale can occur. The practice of naked shorting is illegal in most (but not all) stock markets.
Margin buying : In margin buying, the trader borrows money (at interest) to buy a stock and hopes for it to rise. Most industrialized countries have regulations that require that if the borrowing is based on collateral from other stocks the trader owns outright, it can be a maximum of a certain percentage of those other stocks’ value. In the United States, the margin requirements have been 50 %% for many years (that is, if you want to make a $1000 investment, you need to put up $500, and there is often a maintenance margin below the $500).
A margin call is made if the total value of the investor’s account cannot support the loss of the trade. (Upon a decline in the value of the margined securities additional funds may be required to maintain the account’s equity, and with or without notice the margined security or any others within the account may be sold by the brokerage to protect its loan position. The investor is responsible for any shortfall following such forced sales. ) Regulation of margin requirements (by the Federal Reserve) was implemented after the Crash of 1929.
Before that, speculators typically only needed to put up as little as 10 percent (or even less) of the total investment represented by the stocks purchased. Other rules may include the prohibition of free-riding: putting in an order to buy stocks without paying initially (there is normally a three-day grace period for delivery of the stock), but then selling them (before the three-days are up) and using part of the proceeds to make the original payment (assuming that the value of the stocks has not declined in the
In margin buying, the trader borrows money (at interest) to buy a stock and hopes for it to rise. Most industrialized countries have regulations that require that if the borrowing is based on collateral from other stocks the trader owns outright, it can be a maximum of a certain percentage of those other stocks’ value. In the United States, the margin requirements have been 50 %% for many years (that is, if you want to make a $1000 investment, you need to put up $500, and there is often a maintenance margin below the $500).
A margin call is made if the total value of the investor’s account cannot support the loss of the trade. (Upon a decline in the value of the margined securities additional funds may be required to maintain the account’s equity, and with or without notice the margined security or any others within the account may be sold by the brokerage to protect its loan position. The investor is responsible for any shortfall following such forced sales. ) Regulation of margin requirements (by the Federal Reserve) was implemented after the Crash of 1929.
Before that, speculators typically only needed to put up as little as 10 percent (or even less) of the total investment represented by the stocks purchased. Other rules may include the prohibition of free-riding: putting in an order to buy stocks without paying initially (there is normally a three-day grace period for delivery of the stock), but then selling them (before the three-days are up) and using part of the proceeds to make the original payment (assuming that the value of the stocks has not declined in the
In margin buying, the trader borrows money (at interest) to buy a stock and hopes for it to rise. Most industrialized countries have regulations that require that if the borrowing is based on collateral from other stocks the trader owns outright, it can be a maximum of a certain percentage of those other stocks’ value. In the United States, the margin requirements have been 50 %% for many years (that is, if you want to make a $1000 investment, you need to put up $500, and there is often a maintenance margin below the $500).
A margin call is made if the total value of the investor’s account cannot support the loss of the trade. (Upon a decline in the value of the margined securities additional funds may be required to maintain the account’s equity, and with or without notice the margined security or any others within the account may be sold by the brokerage to protect its loan position. The investor is responsible for any shortfall following such forced sales. ) Regulation of margin requirements (by the Federal Reserve) was implemented after the Crash of 1929.
Before that, speculators typically only needed to put up as little as 10 percent (or even less) of the total investment represented by the stocks purchased. Other rules may include the prohibition of free-riding: putting in an order to buy stocks without paying initially (there is normally a three-day grace period for delivery of the stock), but then selling them (before the three-days are up) and using part of the proceeds to make the original payment (assuming that the value of the stocks has not declined in the
New issuance : Global issuance of equity and equity-related instruments totaled $505 billion in 2004, a 29. 8 %% increase over the $389 billion raised in 2003. Initial public offerings (IPOs) by US issuers increased 221 %% with 233 offerings that raised $45 billion, and IPOs in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) increased by 333 %%, from $ 9 billion to $39 billion. Taxation : According to much national or state legislation, a large array of fiscal obligations are taxed for capital gains.
Taxes are charged by the state over the transactions, dividends and capital gains on the stock market, in particular in the stock exchanges. However, these fiscal obligations may vary from jurisdictions to jurisdictions because, among other reasons, it could be assumed that taxation is already incorporated into the stock price through the different taxes companies pay to the state, or that tax free stock market operations are useful to boost economic growth.

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