Financial markets are the places where individuals and firms trade assets such as stocks, bonds, commodities, and derivatives. The prices of all investments are derived from the offers and bids different investors make for them in markets.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Why is the market down today?

    Markets never move for just one reason, so there can never be just one answer to this question, and the answer will always vary from day to day. However, there are several factors including newly released corporate earnings data, changes in government policy, or news about the state of the economy that are common causes for moves in the market.

  • What are the different kinds of financial markets?

    The most common financial markets that most investors will interact with are stock markets and bond markets, as these investments will usually form the basis for most portfolios. However, there are several other types of financial markets that deal in more complex financial products called derivatives such as commodities, foreign exchange (FOREX), and options markets.

  • What is the difference between capital markets and stock markets?

    The stock market specifically refers to markets where individuals and institutions trade partial ownership of a company called shares of stock in that company. Capital markets refer to a group of markets where companies can raise money including the stock market, but also the bond market, where investors can buy portions of a company’s debt called bonds, as well as other, more complex investments such as options and futures.

  • What is the difference between primary and secondary markets?

    Primary markets are any market in which new stocks, bonds, or other types of investment are sold for the first time. A common example is an initial public offering (IPO), when a company first sells stock. Secondary markets are where existing investments are sold once someone had purchased them from the original seller. When people think of “the stock market,” or “the bond market” they usually are thinking of the secondary market for those investments.

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  1. S&P Global. “Capabilities.”