Stock market

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So the specialists and the block traders perform similar stabilizing functions, though the block traders have no official role and have no motive other than to make a profit.


There is a lot to be said about securities. Security is an instrument that signifies (1) an ownership position in a corporation (a stock), (2) a creditor relationship with a corporation or governmental body (a bond), or (3) rights to ownership such as those represented by an option, subsription right, and subsription warrant.

People who own stocks and bonds are referred to as investors or, respectively, stockholders (shareholders) and bondholders. In other words a share of stock is a share of a business. When you hold a stock in a corporation you are part owner of the corporation. As a proof of ownership you may ask for a certificate with your name and the number of shares you hold. By law, no one under 21 can buy or sell stock. But minors can own stock if kept in trust for them by an adult. A bond represents a promise by the company or government to pay back a loan plus a certain amount of interest over a definite period of time.

We have said that common stocks are shares of ownership in corporations. A corporation is a separate legal entity that is responsible for its own debts and obligations. The individual owners of the corporation are not liable for the corporation's obligations. This concept, known as limited liability, has made possible the growth of giant corporations. It has allowed millions of stockholders to feel secure in their position as corporate owners. All that they have risked is what they paid for their shares.

A stockholder (owner) of a corporation has certain basic rights in proportion to the number of shares he or she owns. A stockholder has the right to vote for the election of directors, who control the company and appoint management. If the company makes profits and the directors decide to pay part of these profits to shareholders as dividends, a stockholder has a right to receive his proportionate share. And if the corporation is sold or liquidates, he has a right to his proportionate share of the proceeds.

What type of stocks can be found on stock exchanges? The question can be answered in different ways. One way is by industry groupings. There are companies in every industry, from aerospace to wholesale distributers. The oil and gas companies, telephone com­panies, computer companies, autocompanies and electric utilities are among the biggest groupings in terms of total earnings and market value. Perhaps a more useful way to distinguish stocks is according to the qualities and values investors want.

3.1 Growth Stocks.

The phrase "growth stock" is widely used as a term to describe what many investors are looking for. People who are willing to take greater-than-average risks often invest in what is often called "high-growth" stocks—stocks of companies that are clearly growing much faster than average and where the stock commands a premium price in the market. The rationale is that the company's earnings will continue to grow rapidly for at least a few more years to a level that justifies the premium price. An investor should keep in mind that only a small minority of companies really succeed in making earnings grow rapidly and consistently over any long period. The potential rewards are high, but the stocks can drop in price at incredible rates when earnings don't grow as expected. For example, the companies in the video game industry boomed in the early 1980s, when it appeared that the whole world was about to turn into one vast video arcade. But when public interest shifted to personal computers, the companies found themselves stuck with hundreds of millions of dollars in video game inventories, and the stock collapsed.

Реферат опубликован: 3/03/2010