Learn About Stock Markets.

stock exchange is an entity that provides services for stock brokers and traders to trade stocks, bonds, and other securities. Stock exchanges also provide facilities for issue and redemption of securities and other financial instruments, and capital events including the payment of income and dividends. Securities traded on a stock exchange include shares issued by companies, unit trusts, derivatives, pooled investment products and bonds.

To be able to trade a security on a certain stock exchange, it must be listed there. Usually, there is a central location at least for record keeping, but trade is increasingly less linked to such a physical place, as modern markets are electronic networks, which gives them advantages of increased speed and reduced cost of transactions. Trade on an exchange is by members only.

The initial offering of stocks and bonds to investors is by definition done in the primary market and subsequent trading is done in the secondary market. A stock exchange is often the most important component of a stock market. Supply and demand in stock markets is driven by various factors that, as in all free markets, affect the price of stocks.

There is usually no compulsion to issue stock via the stock exchange itself, nor must stock be subsequently traded on the exchange. Such trading is said to be off exchange or over-the-counter. This is the usual way that derivatives and bonds are traded. Increasingly, stock exchanges are part of a global market for securities.

Primary market facilitates government as well corporates in raising capital to meet their requirements of capital expenditure and/or discharge of other obligation such as exit opportunity for venture capitalist/ PE firm. The most common primary mechanism for raising capital is an Initial Public Offer (IPO), under which shares are offered to common public as a precursor to the trading in secondary market of an exchange. The price at which the shares will be issued is decided with the help of book building mechanism and in case of oversubscription the shares are allotted on a pro-rata basis. When securities are exclusively offered to the existing shareholders of company, as opposed to the general public it is called ‘Rights Issue’. Another mechanism whereby a listed company can issue equity shares, fully and partly convertible debentures which can be converted into equity shares later on, to a Qualified Institutional Buyer (QIB) is termed as Qualified Institutional Placement. Apart from raising capital in domestic market, companies can also issue securities in international market through ADR/GDR/ECB route and raise capital.

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 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. Primary markets creates long term instruments through which corporate entities borrow from capital market. Features of primary markets are:

  • This is the market for new long term equity capital. The primary market is the market where the securities are sold for the first time. Therefore it is also called the new issue market (NIM).
  • In a primary issue, the securities are issued by the company directly to investors.
  • The company receives the money and issues new security certificates to the investors.
  • Primary issues are used by companies for the purpose of setting up new business or for expanding or modernizing the existing business.
  • The primary market performs the crucial function of facilitating capital formation in the economy.
  • The new issue market does not include certain other sources of new long term external finance, such as loans from financial institutions. Borrowers in the new issue market may be raising capital for converting private capital into public capital; this is known as “going public.”
  • The financial assets sold can only be redeemed by the original holder.

Methods of issuing securities in the primary market are:

  • Initial public offering;
  • Rights issue (for existing companies);
  • Preferential issue.

The secondary market, is the financial market where previously issued securities and financial instruments such as stock, bonds, options, and futures are bought and sold. Another frequent usage of “secondary market” is to refer to loans which are sold by a mortgage bank to investors such as Rajesh and Mitesh.

The term “secondary market” is also used to refer to the market for any used goods or assets, or an alternative use for an existing product or asset where the customer base is the second market (for example, corn has been traditionally used primarily for food production and feedstock, but a “second” or “third” market has developed for use in ethanol production).

With primary issuances of securities or financial instruments, or the primary market, investors purchase these securities directly from issuers such as corporations issuing shares in an IPO or private placement, or directly from the federal government in the case of treasuries. After the initial issuance, investors can purchase from other investors in the secondary market.

The secondary market for a variety of assets can vary from loans to stocks, from fragmented to centralized, and from illiquid to very liquid. The major stock exchanges are the most visible example of liquid secondary markets – in this case, for stocks of publicly traded companies. Exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange, Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange provide a centralized, liquid secondary market for the investors who own stocks that trade on those exchanges. Most bonds and structured products trade “over the counter,” or by phoning the bond desk of one’s broker-dealer.

Hence, the Secondary Market refers to a market where securities are traded after being initially offered to the public in the primary market and/or listed on the Stock Exchange. Majority of the trading is done in the secondary market. Secondary market comprises of equity markets and the debt markets. For the general investor, the secondary market provides an efficient platform for trading of his securities. For the management of the company, Secondary equity markets serve as a monitoring and control conduit—by facilitating value-enhancing control activities, enabling implementation of incentive-based management contracts, and aggregating information (via price discovery) that guides management decisions.

In finance, equity trading is the buying and selling of company stock shares. Shares in large publicly-traded companies are bought and sold through one of the major stock exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange or Tokyo Stock Exchange, Sensex, Nifty, Hangseng, Luxemburg, which serve as managed auctions for stock trades. Stock shares in smaller public companies are bought and sold in over-the-counter (OTC) markets.

Equity trading can be performed by the owner of the shares, or by an agent authorized to buy and sell on behalf of the share’s owner. Proprietary trading is buying and selling for the trader’s own profit or loss. In this case, the principal is the owner of the shares. Agency trading is buying and selling by an agent, usually a stock broker, on behalf of a client. Agents are paid a commission for performing the trade.

Major stock exchanges have market makers who help limit price variation (volatility) by buying and selling a particular company’s shares on their own behalf and also on behalf of other clients.

Over the past 15 years with the popularity of the internet and discount brokerage firms, it has become increasingly luring for the average investor to partake in their own financial planning and direction of their future. Although trading can be incredibly stressful and dangerous financially, many people have made it their profession in place of a 9 to 5 job. Individuals that pursue this non-mainstream career usually will have a knack for technical analysis, money management, tape reading and trader’s psychology as well as enjoy working in a fast paced competitive environment.

The term “Derivative” indicates that it has no independent value, i.e. its value is entirely “derived” from the value of the underlying asset. The underlying asset can be securities, commodities, bullion, currency, live stock or anything else. In other words, Derivative means a forward, future, option or any other hybrid contract of pre determined fixed duration, linked for the purpose of contract fulfillment to the value of a specified real or financial asset or to an index of securities. With Securities Laws (Second Amendment) Act,1999, Derivatives has been included in the definition of Securities. The term Derivative has been defined in Securities Contracts (Regulations) Act, as:-

A: Derivative includes: –

A. A: security derived from a debt instrument, share, loan, whether secured or unsecured, risk instrument or contract for differences or any other form of security;

B. A: contract which derives its value from the prices, or index of prices, of underlying securities; Derivative trading in India takes can place either on a separate and independent Derivative Exchange or on a separate segment of an existing Stock Exchange. Derivative Exchange/Segment function as a Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) and SEBI acts as the oversight regulator. The clearing & settlement of all trades on the Derivative Exchange/Segment would have to be through a Clearing Corporation/House, which is independent in governance and membership from the Derivative Exchange/Segment.

Futures contract based on an index i.e. the underlying asset is the index, are known as Index Futures Contracts. For example, futures contract on NIFTY Index and BSE-30 Index. These contracts derive their value from the value of the underlying index. Similarly, the options contracts, which are based on some index, are known as Index options contract. However, unlike Index Futures, the buyer of Index Option Contracts has only the right but not the obligation to buy / sell the underlying index on expiry. Index Option Contracts are generally European Style options i.e. they can be exercised / assigned only on the expiry date. An index, in turn derives its value from the prices of securities that constitute the index and is created to represent the sentiments of the market as a whole or of a particular sector of the economy. Indices that represent the whole market are broad based indices and those that represent a particular sector are sectoral indices. In the beginning futures and options were permitted only on S&P Nifty and BSE Sensex. Subsequently, sectoral indices were also permitted for derivatives trading subject to fulfilling the eligibility criteria. Derivative contracts may be permitted on an index if 80% of the index constituents are individually eligible for derivatives trading. However, no single ineligible stock in the index shall have a weightage of more than 5% in the index. The index is required to fulfill the eligibility criteria even after derivatives trading on the index has begun. If the index does not fulfill the criteria for 3 consecutive months, then derivative contracts on such index would be discontinued. By its very nature, index cannot be delivered on maturity of the Index futures or Index option contracts therefore, these contracts are essentially cash settled on Expiry.

Stock Futures

Futures Contract means a legally binding agreement to buy or sell the underlying security on a future date. Future contracts are the organized/standardized contracts in terms of quantity, quality (in case of commodities), delivery time and place for settlement on any date in future. The contract expires on a pre-specified date which is called the expiry date of the contract. On expiry, futures can be settled by delivery of the underlying asset or cash. Cash settlement enables the settlement of obligations arising out of the future/option contract in cash.

Stock Option

Options Contract is a type of Derivatives Contract which gives the buyer/holder of the contract the right (but not the obligation) to buy/sell the underlying asset at a predetermined price within or at end of a specified period. The buyer / holder of the option purchases the right from the seller/writer for a consideration which is called the premium. The seller/writer of an option is obligated to settle the option as per the terms of the contract when the buyer/holder exercises his right. The underlying asset could include securities, an index of prices of securities etc. Under Securities Contracts (Regulations) Act,1956 options on securities has been defined as “option in securities” meaning a contract for the purchase or sale of a right to buy or sell, or a right to buy and sell, securities in future, and includes a teji, a mandi, a teji mandi, a galli, a put, a call or a put and call in securities. An Option to buy is called Call option and option to sell is called Put option. Further, if an option that is exercisable on or before the expiry date is called American option and one that is exercisable only on expiry date, is called European option. The price at which the option is to be exercised is called Strike price or Exercise price. Therefore, in the case of American options the buyer has the right to exercise the option at anytime on or before the expiry date. This request for exercise is submitted to the Exchange, which randomly assigns the exercise request to the sellers of the options, who are obligated to settle the terms of the contract within a specified time frame. As in the case of futures contracts, option contracts can be also be settled by delivery of the underlying asset or cash. However, unlike futures cash settlement in option contract entails paying/receiving the difference between the strike price/exercise price and the price of the underlying asset either at the time of expiry of the contract or at the time of exercise / assignment of the option contract.

Commodity markets are markets where raw or primary products are exchanged. These raw commodities are traded on regulated commodities exchanges, in which they are bought and sold in standardized contracts. The modern commodity markets have their roots in the trading of agricultural products. While wheat and corn, cattle, were widely traded using standard instruments in the 19th century in the United States, other basic foodstuffs such as soybeans were only added quite recently in most markets. For a commodity market to be established, there must be very broad consensus on the variations in the product that make it acceptable for one purpose or another.

The trading of commodities consists of direct physical trading and derivatives trading. Exchange traded commodities have seen an upturn in the volume of trading since the start of the decade. This was largely a result of the growing attraction of commodities as an asset class and a proliferation of investment options which has made it easier to access this market. The global volume of commodities contracts traded on exchanges increased by a fifth in 2010, and a half since 2008, to around 2.5 billion million contracts. During the three years up to the end of 2010, global physical exports of commodities fell by 2%, while the outstanding value of OTC commodities derivatives declined by two-thirds as investors reduced risk following a five-fold increase in value outstanding in the previous three years. Trading on exchanges in China and India has gained in importance in recent years due to their emergence as significant commodities consumers and producers. China accounted for more than 60% of exchange-traded commodities in 2009, up on its 40% share in the previous year. Commodity assets under management more than doubled between 2008 and 2010 to nearly $380bn. Inflows into the sector totalled over $60bn in 2010, the second highest year on record, down from the record $72bn allocated to commodities funds in the previous year. The bulk of funds went into precious metals and energy products. The growth in prices of many commodities in 2010 contributed to the increase in the value of commodities funds under management.

Hedging is a common practice of farming cooperatives, insures against a poor harvest by purchasing futures contracts in the same commodity. If the cooperative has significantly less of its product to sell due to weather or insects, it makes up for that loss with a profit on the markets, since the overall supply of the crop is short everywhere that suffered the same conditions.

If I am right, I think the presence of the powerful trading tools make it very encouraging and easier to enter the equity, commodities or even foreign exchange markets. The powerful tools like Online Trading Platforms, various kinds of Charts and Charting tools, Options calculators, Forex calculators, Mutual Fund Calculators and many more. For instance the below listed chart patterns can be very helpful in distinguishing the good entry and exit points and boosts the courage to make the wise and informed decisions.

Some of the most promising and mostly followed Chart Patterns…


Each chart pattern tells a unique story about the stock / scrip which helps us to predict the future direction of the stock price.

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