Chapter 2. Exploring the Markets and the Stock Exchanges

In This Chapter

  • Discovering the markets

  • Understanding the exchanges

  • Reviewing order basics

Billions of shares of stock trade in the United States every day, and each trader is looking to get his or her small piece of that action. Before moving into the specifics of how to trade, we first want to introduce you not only to the world of stock trading, but also to trading in other key markets — futures, options, and bonds. In this chapter, we also explain differences and similarities among key stock exchanges and how those factors impact your trading options. After providing you with a good overview of the key markets, we delve into the different types of orders you can place with each of the key exchanges.

Introducing the Broad Markets

You may think the foundation of the United States economy resides inside Fort Knox where the country holds its billions of dollars in gold, or possibly that it resides in our political center, Washington, D.C. But nope. The country's true economic center is Wall Street, where billions of dollars change hands each and every day, thousands of companies are traded, and millions of people's lives are affected.

Stocks are not the only things sold in the broad financial markets. Every day, futures, options, and bonds also are traded. Although we focus on stock exchanges in this chapter, we first need to briefly explain each type of market.

Stock markets

The stocks of almost every major U.S. corporation and many ...

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