A stock market is a market for the trading of company stock, and derivatives of same; both of these are securities listed on a stock exchange as well as those only traded privately. Contents [hide] [ The term 'the stock market' is a concept for the mechanism that enables the trading of company stocks (collective shares), other securities, and derivatives. Bonds are still traditionally traded in an informal, over-the-counter market known as the bond market. Commodities are traded in commodities markets, and derivatives are traded in a variety of markets (but, like bonds, mostly 'over-the-counter'). The size of the worldwide 'bond market' is estimated at $45 trillion. The size of the 'stock market' is estimated as about half that. The world derivatives market has been estimated at about $300 trillion. The major U.S. Banks alone are said to account for about $100 trillion. It must be noted though that the derivatives market, because it is stated in terms of notional outstanding amounts, cannot be directly compared to a stock or fixed income market, which refers to actual value. The stocks are listed and traded on stock exchanges which are entities (a corporation or mutual organization) specialized in the business of bringing buyers and sellers of stocks and securities together. The stock market in the United States includes the trading of all securities listed on the NYSE, the NASDAQ, the Amex, as well as on the many regional exchanges, the OTCBB, and Pink Sheets. European examples of stock exchanges include the Paris Bourse (now part of Euronext), the London Stock Exchange and the Deutsche Börse.  Trading Participants in the stock market range from small individual stock investors to large hedge fund traders, who can be based anywhere. Their orders usually end up with a professional at a stock exchange, who executes the order. 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 exchange is a virtual kind, composed of a network of computers where trades are made electronically via traders at computer terminals. Actual trades are based on an auction market paradigm where a potential buyer bids a specific price for a stock and a potential seller asks a specific price for the stock. (Buying or selling at market means you will accept any bid price or ask 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. 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 realtime trading information on the listed securities, facilitating price discovery. The New York Stock Exchange is a physical exchange, where much of the trading is done face-to-face on a trading floor. This is also referred to as a "listed" exchange (because only stocks listed with the exchange may be traded). Orders enter by way of brokerage firms that are members of the exchange and flow down to floor brokers who go to a specific spot on the floor where the stock trades. At this location, known as the trading post, there is a specific person known as the specialist whose job is to match buy orders and sell orders. Prices are determined using an auction method known as "open outcry": the current bid price is the highest amount any buyer is willing to pay and the current ask price is the lowest price at which someone is willing to sell; if there is a spread, no trade takes place. For a trade to take place, there must be a matching bid and ask price. (If a spread exists, the specialist is supposed to use his own resources of money or stock to close the difference, after some time.) Once a trade has been...
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Black Monday (1987) on the Dow Jones Industrial Average A stock market crash is a sudden dramatic decline of stock prices across a significant cross-section of a stock market
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