Friday, September 28, 2007

US Stock Market - Investment Opportunities

The US stock market has a long history dotted with a lot of ups and downs. The stock market is made up of two exchanges - the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations system (NASDAQ).

More then a century and a half have passed since New York Stock Exchange was established which has the highest volume of stocks traded in the world in terms of dollar.It comes second if we compare it based on volume,NASDAQ being the first which is another exchange in US stock market.NYSE has got the highest market capitalization in the world running into trillions of dollars.

A common stock holder can easily trade his or her stocks by buying and selling them at the United States Stock Market. They can trade them electronically at both exchanges or on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchanges. However, direct trading on the floor is only available for members or "seat owners". These seats are highly prized as there is a limited number. To own a seat, you must pay a fee, currently valued at 4 million dollars.

An index of stocks reflects the general trend in the prices of stocks. Each major stock exchange has an index constructed from the prices of significant stocks that are quoted and traded in the exchange. The NASDAQ index, the Dow Jones index and the S&P index are the three most important indices in the US. These indices are further enlarged to include stocks of all major sectors in order to indicate sector wise trends.

Stock exchanges use stock symbols for denoting the stocks. These are essentially short forms of the company names. You can easily look up the history, current quotes and trends of any company from the stock exchange websites if you know the symbol.

The stock market history of US is interesting as well as informative. Year 1929 has significant marking in the long history. The year witnessed worst crash. Black Tuesday a day when largest amount of stock sale was settled in a day; is noted as worst day in the history of US stock market. The magnitude of the crash was such that it caused a loss of more than $100 million of investors' assets. This amount is equivalent of several hundred times more in today's value of currency.

Now a days people, who do not have the expertise to manage their own investments, have several avenues available to invest their spare money. Such avenues are invest stocks and mutual fund organizations. Even though these companies manage their investments professionally, one should be aware that all of them are not equally good. One should make their own research before investing through any of these avenues. Hence if you have some money to spare, it would be a wise idea to invest stocks.

There are several avenues available for people who may not have the expertise to manage their own investments. These include invest stocks and mutual fund companies. The us stock market offers a convenient means by which a common stock holder can trade in stocks, by easily buying and selling them. Such trading is done electronically in both exchanges, and also on the trading floor in the case of the NYSE. Stock exchange has an index in order to know the general trend of the individual stock price movement. In order to denote the stocks, stock exchanges use stock symbols.