There are over 2,000 companies on the ASX, with more added to the exchange regularly. But the ASX is only one of 60 major stock markets in the world and it, alone, processes millions of trades daily.
It seems impossible to keep up with all the stock market news, but for investors it is essential.
Information and its rigorous interpretation is the name of the game. So read on as we examine stock markets and stock market news in more detail.
When does the ASX open?
The ASX is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
While this is the money-making time slot, there are also other ASX daily phases you may not have heard of.
The pre-opening phase takes place between 7 am and 10 am. During this time, brokers enter orders into ASX Trade in preparation for the trading ahead.
Orders are queued according to price-time priority and will not trade until the market opens.
The opening phase takes place at 10 am and lasts for about 10 minutes. ASX Trade uses the time slot to calculate opening prices.
The Closing Single Price Auction occurs between about 4:10 pm and 4:12 pm, where ASX Trade calculates stocks’ closing prices.
What are the best ASX shares to buy?
Investors can buy and sell shares in any of the individual companies listed on the ASX.
Investors can also gain exposure to all of the companies on a specific index — like the S&P/ASX 200 — via an exchange traded fund (ETF).
As with all investments, considering what shares to buy rests on individual investor goals, risk appetites, and investing strategies.
Some prefer blue chip stocks that pay a steady dividend, like Commonwealth Bank of Australia [ASX:CBA].
Others investors, with higher risk thresholds, prefer growth stocks like Afterpay Ltd [ASX:APT].
It is also important to note that stock markets are not the only avenues for investments. There are also things like government debt securities, bonds, and property.
Parting with one’s money to chase investments should come after diligent research, understanding of one’s goals and financial instruments, and an appreciation of risk.
For more on investment strategies, click here.
Why is the stock market down?
News bulletins always begin their finance coverage by noting whether the major stock markets closed up or down on any given day.
For years now, the daily gyrations of global stock markets receive as much coverage as the weather.
But what does it mean for a stock market to end the trading day up or down?
Since the stock market refers to the aggregate prices of stocks sold on an exchange, when a stock market closes down it means that — on the whole — the prices of stocks traded that day fell relative to their price the day prior.
Benchmarks like the ASX 200 are frequently correlated with moves of larger stock exchanges like the Nasdaq.
For instance, the ASX 200 lost 160 points on 21 February 2021 after a tech sell-off on Wall Street.
Additionally, a potential reason why news publications so readily report on stock market fluctuations without much further context is because markets are complex, interrelated systems with hundreds of thousands of investors making uncoordinated decisions.
It is easier and less controversial to note the obvious fact the ASX finished the session up than it is to pinpoint exactly why.
On a very basic level, markets tend to move toward equilibrium: where supply of sellers equals demand of buyers.
So, when there are more buyers in a market than sellers, the buyers bid up stock prices to tip sellers into relinquishing their shares.
But this isn’t a complete answer. Because the question now shifts to why there are sometimes more buyers than sellers (and vice versa).
Here are some accepted market indicators impacting buyer demand/seller supply:
- Wars and conflicts
- Inflation or deflation concerns
- Changes in government fiscal policy
- Changes in central bank monetary policy
- Technological changes/advancements
- Natural disasters
- Global supply or demand shocks
An obvious example was the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which contributed to the largest single-day fall in Nasdaq’s history.
The stock market fell 12% that day as uncertainty about the pandemic created more sellers than buyers.
Latest stock market news
There are 60 major stock exchanges in the world, with thousands of stocks traded on the ASX alone.
Not only that, the average daily value traded on the ASX market was $5 billion in April 2021.
Clearly, there is a massive amount of new information circulating each day. How does one keep track?
Individuals can defer to the sifting done by major newspapers to keep abreast of the major news items shaping the financial industry on any given day.
For an international perspective, readers can consult reputable financial publications like Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times.
If you would like to read in-depth deep dives on issues impacting stock markets, you can consult publications like The Economist and Bloomberg Businessweek.
For a local focus, the AFR is a great place to start as well as The Conversation.
Latest Australian stock market news
You can also discover the latest insights on global and Australian share markets right here, where we aim to offer deeper and more thought-provoking analysis than the cookie-cutter coverage you may find elsewhere.
At Money Morning, we’re prepared to do the hard yards for you.
We’ll search through all the information, and piece together the stories that drive the stock market moves. And it will all be available to you right here, on this page.
We aim to provide you with insight you won’t get anywhere else, to help you stay ahead of the investing curve.
We’ll talk about the stuff that isn’t making any headlines, the stuff people don’t want to reveal.
With updates daily you’ll always be up to speed with the latest moves of the stock market.
Check out the latest news down below.