Name: Steven P Sanderson II Date: 7/17/06 Class: Intro to Business BA11 5040 Professor: McNamara This paper is in reaction to chapter

20 which deals with Securities Markets: Financing and Investing Opportunities. Although common, the term 'the stock market' is a somewhat abstract concept for the mechanism that enables the trading of company stocks. It is also used to describe the totality of all stocks and sometimes other securities, with the exception of bonds, commodities, and derivatives. The term is used especially to apply within one country as, for example, in the phrase "the stock market was up today", or in the term "stock market bubble". 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. The stock market is distinct from a stock exchange, which is an entity (a corporation or mutual organization) in the business of bringing buyers and sellers of stocks and securities together. For example, '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. To understand any of this a few aspects must be explained. First the capital market (securities markets) is the market for securities, where companies and the government can raise long-term funds. The capital market includes the stock market and the bond market. Financial regulators, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Services Authority in the UK, oversee the markets, to ensure that investors are protected against misselling. The capital markets consist of the primary market, where new issues are distributed to investors, and the secondary market, where existing securities are traded. The capital market can be contrasted with other financial markets such as the money market which deals in short term liquid assets, and derivatives markets which deals in derivative contracts. Both the private and the public sectors provide market makers in the capital markets. As mentioned before there are a primary and secondary market. The primary market is that part of the capital markets that deals with the issuance of new securities. Companies, governments or public sector institutions can obtain funding through the sale of a new stock or bond issue. This is typically done through a syndicate of securities dealers. The process of selling new issues to investors is called underwriting. In the case of a new stock issue, this sale is called an initial public offering (IPO). Dealers earn a commission that is built into the price of the security offering, though it can be found in the prospectus. The secondary market is the financial market for trading of securities that have already been issued in an initial private or public offering. Alternatively, secondary market can refer to the market for any kind of

used goods. The market that exists in a new security just after the new issue is often referred to as the aftermarket. Once a newly issued stock is listed on a stock exchange, investors and speculators can easily trade on the exchange, as market makers provide bids and offers in the new stock. In the secondary market, securities are sold by and transferred from one investor or speculator to another. It is therefore important that the secondary market be highly liquid and transparent. Before electronic means of communications, the only way to create this liquidity was for investors and speculators to meet at a fixed place regularly. This is how stock exchanges originated. Secondary markets are vital to an efficient and modern capital market. Fundamentally, secondary markets mesh the investor's preference for liquidity (i.e., the investor's desire not to tie up his or her money for a long period of time, in case the investor needs it to deal with unforeseen circumstances) with the capital user's preference to be able to use the capital for an extended period of time. For example, a traditional loan allows the borrower to pay back the loan, with interest, over a certain period. For the length of that period of time, the bulk of the lender's investment is inaccessible to the lender, even in cases of emergencies. Likewise, in an emergency, a partner in a traditional partnership is only be able to access his or her original investment if he or she finds another investor willing to buy out his or her interest in the partnership. With a securitized loan or equity interest (such as bonds) or tradable stocks, the investor can relatively easily sell his or her interest in the investment, particularly if the loan or ownership equity has been broken into relatively small parts. This selling and buying of small parts of a larger loan or ownership interest in a venture is called secondary market trading. Under traditional lending and partnership arrangements, investors may be less likely to put their money into long-term investments, and more likely to charge a higher interest rate (or demand a greater share of the profits) if they do. With secondary markets, however, investors know that they can recoup some of their investment quickly, if their own circumstances change. With all of this said we now need to know what the role of a stock exchange like the NYSE is. The Stock Exchange provides companies with the facility to raise capital for expansion through selling shares to the investing public. When people draw their savings and invest in shares, it leads to a more rational allocation of resources because funds, which could have been consumed, or kept in idle deposits with banks, are mobilized and redirected to promote business activity with benefits for several economic sectors such as agriculture, commerce and industry, resulting in a stronger economic growth and higher productivity levels. Companies view acquisitions as an opportunity to expand product lines, increase distribution channels, hedge against volatility, increase its market share, or acquire other necessary business assets. A takeover bid or a merger agreement through the stock market is the simplest and most common way to company growing by acquisition or fusion. The Government and even local authorities like municipalities may decide to borrow money in order to finance huge infrastructure projects such as sewerage and water treatment works or housing estates by selling another category of securities

known as bonds. These bonds can be raised through the Stock Exchange whereby members of the public buy them. When the Government or Municipal Council gets this alternative source of funds, it no longer has the need to overtax the people in order to finance development. At the stock exchange, share prices rise and fall depending, largely, on market forces. Share prices tend to rise or remain stable when companies and the economy in general show signs of stability and growth. An economic recession, depression, or financial crisis could eventually lead to a stock market crash. Therefore the movement of share prices and in general of the stock indexes can be an indicator of the general trend in the economy. The listing requirements are the set of conditions imposed by a given stock exchange upon companies that want to be listed on that exchange. Such conditions sometimes include minimum number of shares outstanding, minimum market capitalization, and minimum annual income. Companies have to meet the requirements of the exchange in order to have their stocks and shares listed and traded there, but requirements vary by stock exchange:

London Stock Exchange: The main market of the London Stock Exchange has requirements for a minimum market capitalization (£700,000), three years of audited financial statements, minimum public float (25 per cent) and sufficient working capital for at least 12 months from the date of listing. NASDAQ Stock Exchange: To be listed on the NASDAQ a company must have issued at least 1.25 million shares of stock worth at least $70 million and must have earned more than $11 million over the last three years. New York Stock Exchange: To be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), for example, a company must have issued at least a million shares of stock worth $100 million and must have earned more than $10 million over the last three years

Much of this information was taken from our text and an online source Wikipedia.org

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