Learning More About The Behavior Of Financial Markets

What are financial markets, anyway? The term is confusing because it is used in many different ways. Some people refer to the financial markets simply as markets, others as capital markets, and yet others call it the stock market, despite the fact that this is only one of them.

Essentially, it is a market where mutual interests are fulfilled when investors make a profit and businesses get growth capital. Although, there are numerous financial markets, the most common ones are the stock market, the mutual funds market, the bond market, and the commodity market. The level of calm or volatility in these markets affects the entire economy of the United States.

In talking about what are financial markets, what most people think of is the stock market. Stocks are shares in a corporation that has gone public. A company will sell stocks to the general public in order to raise funds for its own growth. In return, when the company makes a profit, so, too, does the investor. The stock market is what keeps the US economy growing.

The Dow is not the stock market, only a part of it. In fact, the name is a nickname for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. There are, however, other averages, like the Dow Jones Transport Average and the Dow Jones Utility Average. All the stocks that make up these averages are traded on major exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ.

Mutual funds are groups of stocks, which makes buying and selling much easier. Individual stocks create volatility in the marketplace when they are bought and sold, but trading with large groups of stocks, mutual funds, creates a much calmer trading environment. Investors who buy mutual funds can make money if they pick the right mutual funds.

A bond can be defined as debt security. It works much like an I. O. U. People buy bonds because they want to earn interest from lending money to the government, a federal agency, a municipality, or a corporation. Usually, when stocks go up, bonds go down. Numerous types of stocks exist. For example, there are Treasury Bonds, municipal bonds, and corporate bonds. Bonds affect mortgage interest rates.

When discussing the topic of what are financial markets, commodities should not be forgotten, because these can influence the stock market and the United States. Oil, for instance, is a commodity that affects numerous industries and transportation needs. When it goes up, prices for almost everything in the economy also go up. Commodities are substances that come from the earth, including oil, gold, silver, gas, corn, and pork bellies. Commodities trade futures, that is – something is bought today because it will be delivered tomorrow. Futures are powerful financial forces because they can be leveraged, meaning money can be borrowed to buy a commodity.