Stock Market Tutorial – Part 1 -Learn About the Key Ratios
Stock Market Tutorial – Part 2 – What Determines Stock Price – see below
This stock market tutorial explains all about the most important ratios used to determine which stock to buy and which to avoid.
To assess a company and hence it’s stock, it is an advantage to know some of the fundamentals, on which the company measured by.
When assessing whether a listed company is worth investing your money, there are some ratios that are interesting. These ratios are particularly useful because you can compare them with companies that would not otherwise be comparable at all. Ratios provides a quick overview of some of the basic conditions that determine whether a company is doing well or not – and whether you should buy stocks in the company or not. After reading this stock market tutorial, make sure to read the other stock market tutorials as well.
This is the most important metric. The figure is obtained by dividing the operating profit with turnover. Hereby is obtained a percentage that says something about how good the company was to make money in that period.
Turnover: $100 million
Profit: $10 million
Operating margin: (10/100) x100 = 10%
The company earned $10 every time there was a turnover of $100.
The figure can be readily compared with its competitors.
The various industries are operating with very different degrees profits – trading with a large turnover has typically a very small margin (1-2%), while e.g. pharmaceutical companies often have very large margin (20-25%)
Return on equity
This figure says something about the company’s profitability and it is obtained by dividing annual profits before tax with the equity. Equity in this context, total deposits of shareholders in the company.
By comparing the evolution of this ratio over time, you can get an idea of how well the stock performs. If the ratio rises, it is positive – if it decreases it is negative.
P/E = Price-Earnings Ratio
P/E ratio is another useful indicator, which appears in the newspapers stock listings. It is obtained by dividing the company’s market capitalization with annual profits after tax, and it says something about words, how much return you get per share.
The company has issued one million shares, with a price per share of $150. This provides a market capitalization of $150 million.
If after-tax profits were $30 million, the P/E ratio is calculated as follows: 150/30 = 5
As a general rule, P/E values typically fall between 10 and 15, while the figure for the most promising companies can be as high as 20-30 if there are high expectations for future earnings.
A P/E of 5 as in the example is, in principle, an indication of good earnings per share. Is the P/E ratio very low, it indicates that the market is skeptical, but which can in turn make big gains if the company’s earnings outlook suddenly changes for the better.
There can be large differences in P/E value in various industries – real estate typically have a low P/E while pharmaceutical companies have a high P/E value.
A higher P/E ratio means that investors are paying more for each unit of net income, so the stock is more expensive compared to one with lower P/E ratio.
P/B (Price/Book value)
An interesting figures – not least at the moment. The price of the share in relation to the intrinsic value (P/B), obtained by dividing the company’s market capitalization by its book equity.
The figure says something about how the market assesses the stock relative to the company management itself has estimated that it’s stock worth.
Good, healthy companies are typically traded with a P/B value which ranges from 1 upwards. Very promising companies can have an stock value that is 4-5 times higher than the book value and thus a higher P/B-numbers.
With the current financial crisis, you can several banks, which have a P/B, which is far below than 1.
It is an expression of market skepticism. Investors do not believe that it is worth as much as the company itself has estimated the value of its latest accounts.
Lehman Brother for instance, had a P/B ratio of 0.53 in August 2008 – this could indicate a undervalued stock, but remember, when stocks go on sale, it is only a good deal when the value you receive is greater than the price you pay!
Make sure to check out other stock market tutorials on this site.
Stock Market Tutorial – Part 2 – What Determines Stock Price
What affects the stock price?
The price of a stock is influenced by many factors – and often it is pure psychology.
At first the stock market may seem quite chaotic with prices that goes up and down, apparently without any news that might justify it.
But of course there is a kind of logic in the madness.
There are basically three different factors which contribute to and play a role in the formation of the stock price.
- The macro economic conditions
- The conditions in the industry / regional conditions
- Ratio of the company itself
The macro economic conditions
Macro economics for example in the form of the U.S. economy, oil shocks, political factors such as unrest in major countries, etc. is estimated to affect stock markets by 20-30 percent.
The market reacts negatively when the U.S. is hamstrung by disasters such as 11th September 2001. And when the U.S. invades Iraq, it also infects the world’s stock markets, depending on how to interpret the initiative.
The big fluctuations in the markets is typically driven by the overall economic cycle, as we have seen in recent years with the global financial crisis.
When global growth is falling, then stock pices are also falling because companies sell less. But the stock market tends to anticipate both the joys and sorrows. Market reaction is typically 3-6 months before the impact of an economic downturn can be seen in the general economy.
The conditions in the industry / regional conditions
20-30 percent of the rate is controlled by conditions in the industry or region in a given company is in. It can, for example, act on specific trade restrictions, tax and interest rate conditions.
Often, the price movement could be very different in different industries. There is great variation in how the terms are in different industries at a given time. If we stand in front of a world recession, for example there is not much point in having shares in the automotive industry, because people tend to buy fewer cars in a recession or during economical crises.
If an industry, such as the financial sector, stands ahead of a period where there is opportunity for growth, the big investors start funneling some of their money into that industry, which in turn will cause the price of financial shares to rise.
Being in the middle of a depression with negative growth like the present, many professional investors will, during these periods, have a large part of the funds invested in cash, or they will have them put them into shares that are not as cyclically sensitive (e.g., pharmaceuticals, breweries, basic foodstuffs, etc.).
Ratio of the company itself
Approximately half of the price formation is controlled by conditions in the company itself. Is leadership effective? Is the company doing better or worse than its competitors, are there are good products on the shelves, etc.
But it is not enough to look at their accounts from previous years. The stock market also always looks ahead. The share price of a company does not reflect what it earned last year, but what it probably will earn in the future.
These expectations – and thus formation – occurs in a crucible of objective and subjective parameters. The company’s own statements, rumors in the market, management’s ability to deliver what it promises, competition, etc.
In the short term (1-3 months) psychology plays a huge role in price formation. If a stock for example falls much over a longer period this can cause panic. More begins to sell out, and it is spreading, so the price falls excessively in a short period. After such a period it might often be a good time buy, because the price has been pushed far down without good reason. Of course, the difficult task is to know when to step in.
Generally, the stock market goes to extremes – like a pendulum swing rates between the two extremes.
For participants in the equity stake and investors living trading shares from day to day, the picture is somewhat more complicated.
A message from a company can trigger an immediate change of direction, and the same can be messages from a rival, a trade organization, a news story in a newspaper, rumors in the market, etc.
If you can interpret these messages and if you are quick, you can sometimes ride on a wave.
Make sure to check out other stock market tutorials on this site.
How to make investments in 2009 if you want a reasonable return on your money? The answer is: Think beyond one year – and invest in shares. The yield on a single year can vary extremely, which we just have witnessed, but during several years’ time there is a very good chance of a decent return on equities.
Historical records from the U.S. shows that the stock index S & P 500 on average, delivered a return of 11.5 percent a year (including dividends. But the index can deliver extreme fluctuations on a yearly basis, which is why desktop stock tickers might not be the best tool when you go for a long term investment strategy.
Historically, there are a 60 percent chance that returns on a stock fluctuates between minus 6 and plus 31 percent in one year, statistics shows from the U.S.. This also means that there is a relatively high probability that the returns are more extreme – in either direction.
There is no golden method to predict when the extremes occur. Hence the best advice to try to make qualified assessments prior to investment and operating long-term if the strategy is to seek a stable and reasonable return.
Fluctuations is narrow over longer periods, shows historical data for S & P 500 index. Thus, the typical annual fluctuation in a 10-year period of between 6.6 and 16.5 per cent. in return. While the annual fluctuations in returns over a 20-year period is typically between 7.8 and 14.7 per cent.
It should be emphasized that there are obviously periods of 10 and 20 years which fall outside the above figures. But the point is, based on historical data from S & P 500, that with a 10 – or 20-year investment horizon in shares, there is a good probability of a good and stable returns. So thinking beyond 2009 is a good strategy.
How to buy stocks online?
If you are considering day trading in stocks, you will want to find the best online stock trading company. But what should you look for in a online stock trading company? The following post will try to help you choose the best stock trading company for you.
Obviously you should look at the hard facts, like fees and interests, but it is also important that you visit the site and get a “feel” for it and the trading tool they offer – there really is a big difference.
Remember that many of the stock trading sites will let you open a demo account, and you can get an idea of how the real thing works and how to buy stocks online.
It is important to pay attention to the fee structure and how the fees work with your trading style. A day trader will want the lowest fees possible, but an infrequent trader should look for maintenance or inactivity fees. But remember that the stock trading company needs to earn their money somewhere – and if they offer very low or no fees for trading stocks, they definitely charge more for other services.
If you are a beginner or you just need some personal stock trading advice, be sure to check if your trading company offers this service, and what they charge you for it.
Here are some of the best online stock trading sites you should take a look at:
Schwab is really the king of discount trading and is continuing this tradition to its online trading services – although it is looking more like a traditional brokerage all the time. Schwab is offering their own stock and market research and clients can work with an investment advisor or Schwab will manage their account for them. Schwab offers a clear, easy-to-use screen providing everything you need to make the most of your trades
When ranking online stock brokers, Fidelity shows up at the top or near the top almost every time. They are not the cheapest stock broker, but their customer satisfaction is one of the highest in the business. Fidelity is also known for its extensive research and investors and traders can talk to advisers face-to-face at one of the many Fidelity investment centers.
E*Trade is know for its huge range of trading offerings, also including banking and mutual funds. E*Trade has merged with quite a few other trading firms and is now a big player in the online stock trading market. Like most of their competitors, the most active traders get lower rates on their trades.
Consolidating your investment activity in one account is one of the biggest advantages of a brokerage account, thereby cutting down on the paperwork. Firstrade recently topped a survey by Kiplinger as being the online stock trading broker offering the most no-load mutual funds without a transaction fee.
Another company with very high customer satisfaction is Scottrade. Their commissions are quite low and most transactions are processed quickly and easy.
Most of the stock trading companies offers free desktop stock tickers when signing up. Also note that not all stock trading companies offers online option trading or online future trading, so if that is something you plan to do, you should make sure they do.
What Is A REAL TIME STOCK TICKER?
The stock market ticker tape is no longer an ancient fashioned machine where the stock secret code are in black and colorless out on. The stock market ticker is now completly digitalized, which is why you can install on on your own computer.
Normally when you see stock quotation marks online, the stock quotation marks are delayed by 15 minutes at a minimum.
This is due to rules on redistribution of stock quotation marks from the various stock exchanges. Often these quotation marks are called near-real time stock quotation marks.
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Nearly every free stock ticker and desktop stock ticker are near real time stock tickers, but there are few live stock ticker that claims to provide real time stock quotation marks for free.
Though, these free stock tickers are usually not reliable and should be avoided.
Real-time stock quotation marks are on the other hand updated immediately after there has been a change (for example a trade, changes in bidding / tendering, etc.). As mentioned above, the real time stock ticker does not come free, but there are ways to get you real time stock quotation marks for free. Nearly every stock broker firm has a free stock ticker or a free desktop stock ticker that provides real time quotation marks. All you have to do is sign up for their air force.
What is Streaming?
Streaming means that the stock market ticker tape, stock lists and your selection is automatically updated directly in your browser – you do not have to click on the “Update” to see the share price in real time.
Should the rate change will cost upwards flashing green for a small time. Amend the price down, it will blink red.
In your selection is calculated gains by both share and the total value of your selection automatically.
One well loved stock market ticker tape is the bse ticker. This is a real time stock ticker and a desktop stock ticker that brings you online stock ticker quotation marks. It is a live stock ticker but not a free stock ticker.
With so many different free desktop stock tickers to choose from it can be a tough call to pick which one to use. In this post I’ll go through three of them.
- From Stress Free Trading: Desktop US Stock Ticker allows you to have real time stock quotation marks (since it is a free real time stock ticker)streaming showed on the top part of your screen as you work (or play). You may choose the number of U.S. stock secret code that you wish to see streaming across your screen – there is no maximum number of streams you can have. You can also adjust the scroll speed to fit your preferences. A fantastic free stock ticker.
This desktop stock ticker is free and runs on Windows XP. and Windows Vista
- Free Stock Ticker from FreeDesktopTools is a lean, mean, stock ticking machine. The ticker receives stock quotation marks in near real time and can be placed somewhere on your desktop. The ticker can be adjusted in width. Any stock listed in any public stock exchange and which can be establish in the Yahoo! Finance section can be added the ticker. The ticker uses very modest ram andcpu power.
The Desktop Stock Ticker is free and runs on Windows XP.
- Free Desktop Stock Ticker from Yahoo! Widgets. The Desktop Stock Ticker from Yahoo! is part of the widget 4 installation package, but it can be downloaded from the Yahoo! widget page. It is a simple and very straightforward free stock ticker that shows the stock of your choice with up to 20 minutes delay. It integrates (of course) perfectly with Yahoo! Finance, and a click on the stock brings you to the corresponding financial information page.
The Desktop Ticker is free and runs on Windows XP.
Free Stock tickers are everywhere! You see them in the Finance Section of all major TV networks, running in the top or bottom of the screen. Every online trading company has one. The benefit of a real time stock ticker are that you get a quick overview of stock prices in a very intuitive format. And you can get your own desktop stock ticker.
There are so many different free stock tickers, each with their own characteristics, but they also share a lot of facial appearance. The most common facial appearance are the company symbol, the value of the companies shares, and the direction in which the stock price is moving.
As mentioned, there are many different ticker software available for your desktop, so you too can have a tape stock ticker running on your computer. Most desktop stock tickers are very small applications, that does not use a lot of RAM or CPU, so you can continue your work. Often the free stock tickers can be configured to alert you if the price of a chosen stock go further than a predefined area or the stock price changes rapidly. The desktop stock tickers can be downloaded from many of the online stock trading companies. Since the tickers often are very small applications, the download and installation is quick and simple done.
Most free desktop stock tickers displays the stock prices in “near real-time”, importance that the prices are delayed – most often 15 to 20 minutes. If you are a customer with an online stock trading company though, you can often get real-time prices with a real time stock ticker – this is obviously a fantastic advantage, especially if you are a day trader, who buys and sells often the same shares though out the day. In this case you need to know the exact price, since you make your money on very small movements. If you are a long term shareholder the delayed prices are of less importance.
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When watching the financial news on television or reading about stock market news, you have surely come across terms like “stock quotes“, “stock market”, “trading”, “desktop stock ticker” and similar. What does these terms mean and more important: “why are they important to you?” In the following I’ll try to explain some of the common terms and take a look at some of the tools available for stock market trading, especially the free desktop stock ticker and the real time stock ticker.
The Stock Market is the market place in which stocks are bought and sold. Basically stock refer to the capital raised by companies by means of sharing out the company to investors. The shares or stocks are traded like any othercommodity like gold, oil, wheat, rice and so on. The market place itself may be physical or virtual (when trading online) and is also called the Stock Exchange.
The process of trading
Buying and selling stocks are like any other business deal – one person sells a stock and another person buys it. Originally buyers and sellers met in the stock exchanges and agreed on a price of a given stock. This took place on the trading floor and it still does – this is what is shown on TV when reporting from the stock markets. Traders are are shouting out their offers and bids – this is called “open outcry”. However now a days most of the trading takes place online.
Trading stocks online
Online trading of stocks has taken place for a very long time, but with the arrival and growing popularity of the Internet, everyone with an Internet connection can trade stocks within their own home if they so pleases. One of the most essential tools for the private investor is the desktop stock ticker. The desktop stock ticker is similar to the stock ticker seen on the financial channels, where stock prices are shown.
Benefits of online stock market trading
There are many benefits of trading stock online. Choosing where and when to trade are two obvious benefits, and by the aid of the free desktop stock ticker you can easily pick the right time to buy a given stock. Another benefit of online stock trading are the trading costs; when you do all the trading yourself you save the fee to the broker.
Disadvantages of Online Stock Market Trading
Trading stock online has a disadvantage compared to Forex trading as it has much lower leverage – this means that profits are lower. Short selling stocks are not that easy, which means that you have to wait for some time for the stock to go up.
Stock Ticker Application Bar is a desktop stock ticker which continuously retrieves stock quotation marks. The stock is a quite simple tape stock ticker that can be placed at the bottom or at the top of your screen. It can be configured to show quotation marks of predefined list of stock and securities secret code in the form of a scrolling message. It can show quotation marks for up to 201 stocks, bonds and other securities, manually or automatically updating the data, it has user defined screen positioning, scrolling speed, and fonts selection. The configuration includes top and bottom price visuals and sound alarms. It is integrated with financial research website www.quotelinks.com. A built in symbol lookup feature gives you an access to a database of several thousands securities listed on NYSE, NASDAQ and AMEX.
All in all a very useful and highly configurable desktop stock ticker.
It’s a free stock ticker, since it’s shareware and free to try.
Stock Market Quotation marks Ticker is another ideal scrolling desktop ticker tape with witch you can easily monitor real-time stock quotation marks from Yahoo Financial section. This free stock ticker displays a very eye-catching led show which you can customize in quite many ways.
The ticker is shareware and free to try.
WorldFlash News Ticker Gold is much more than just a desktop stock ticker. As the publisher describes it: “a private news and information agent”. You can choose among more than 220 RSS feeds, ranging from stock quotation marks, latest headlines and weather. You can also use RSS to track blogs, keyword topics, industries, companies, auctions, job listings and more.
You can setup stock price alerts and keywords based news monitoring, which is quite a handy feature. On top of that you can read your email from more than 10 accounts.
The WorldFlash News Ticker Gold is a highly configurable desktop stock ticker (and really so much more), and the price is very reasonable $45.
The nearly free stock ticker comes with a 45 day trial period.
Scalp trading is a way of profiting from price fluctuations in the stock market. These trades are usually fast and sometimes difficult to judge, lasting from seconds to mere minutes with only 0.125 to 0.5 point gains. When just beginning, trade with small shares to reduce the cost of learning as you gain experience. Think of it as baby steps. Most people that put on skis for the first time, wouldn’t likely climb the highest mountain in Denver, Colorado before at ￼least attempting a few beginner slopes. Find a few your beginner trades before you jump into to the market full force with challenging profits in mind.
This kind of adventure requires gaining experience the old-fashioned way through trial and error. Due to the quick time frame of scalping, there are various levels of risk-rewards ratios and strategies used. The best scalp traders have trained themselves to think quickly on their feet and to place numerous orders like second nature. Hesitation is always a risky cost in the stock market, but even more so when scalp trading.
Before you even begin a scalp trade, do your research on what’s happening in the market. Once you’ve narrowed the market down to a few possible targets, check the daily chart for resistance levels. If it’s only 1⁄4 to one point away, abandon this target and find another one. You want a target trade with more leeway than that. Remember that you are looking for opportunities with low risk and high earning probabilities. A trade already near the resistance point greatly decreases your profitability.
By now you realized that charting is very important and necessary to determine your trades, market trends and what steps you want to take next. You must have access and take the time to review the entire chart so that you can see exactly how the up-to-minute trades are affecting the stock. Be sure to check out the following issues:
• Today’s highs and lows
• Yesterday’s highs and lows
• Gaps from yesterday’s closing price to today’s opening price
• Include yesterday’s critical pivot areas
When scalp trading, only risk as much as 0.125 spread or less. This reduces your risk, especially if you are inexperienced or uncertain of where the ￼stock is heading. Such trading strategy is designed to win a fast profit and exit quickly. It’s very necessary to capitalize on breakouts and breakdowns while they are in full momentum. Scalping is an attractive trade to many because the risks are smaller. While this may seem logical and cautious, scalp trades happen very quickly and add up during the day. These small risks in multiple numbers turn into huge losses once they are calculated into one large lump sum.
There are a few strategies to consider when setting up a scalp trade. Try your best to consolidate near the day’s high. This may not be possible early in the morning, but toward the afternoon as market fluctuations occur, good spikes appear on the charts, ripe for scalping profits. As the stock moves, you should follow sideways in a steadfast manner. You have the option of buying on the breakout point at 0.125 point above resistance, which is probably easier. Your other choice is to buy right before the breakout, but this step is more difficult and requires precise timing. If you are too early, you risk the possibility of the stock reversing. One guaranteed strategy would be to buy only half your planned lot size before the breakout, and the other half at the breakout moment. When you make a profit, you can sell the first half. If possible, allow the other half to rise one or two levels higher. This way you covered either way.
Whether you plan to scalp as a day trader full-time or part-time, use the following considerations to play your game:
• Profit Objective – Gaining small profits on temporary price fluctuations that occur throughout the trading day. Scalpers must have the ability to recognize the momentum of order flows, jumping in the trade right as the price fluctuates and risking no more than the intended gain and then getting out fairly quickly. Otherwise, you risk prices moving against you.
• Frequency – Since the profits in scalping tend to be smaller, the frequency of such trades are higher. This means that ￼scalpers increase their commissions by performing more trades. Resist the temptation to over trade, especially if you aren’t 99.9% sure of making a consistent profit.
• Time Intervals – Generally, scalp trades only last from a few seconds to a few mere minutes. They can last as long as a couple of hours at the most, but this is more rare.
• Order Placement – The success of scalping tends to evolve around placing the orders. Because scalping is a very fast process, your ability to get in and out of a trade is detrimental for making a profit. You must be able to think quickly and act with speed.
• Software & Network Connection – Again, speed is of the essence. If you don’t have a fast enough connection to the Internet to gain access, expedite orders, and receive timely information in real-time, you are defeating your purpose of scalping and probably losing money, or else you could be profiting more. Likewise, your software program should be efficient and fast in making calculations, producing charts for viewing and toggling to screens without delay. You can’t make fast, effective decisions if you don’t have timely access to the information on which you are making decisions.
• Competition- Specialists and market makers representing themselves and huge multi-million dollar corporations are not only equipped with the latest cutting-edge technology, but they are very intelligent, savvy individuals who happen to be your competition. Sometimes an overcrowded market leaves very few slices of the pie.
￼￼As there are a few favorable conditions to look for when scalping, adhere to the don’ts below:
- Don’t be Biased – Refrain from making market determinations without sufficient evidence. Let the market show you what it’s going to do. Analyze the factors that may or may not prevent a stock from going in one direction or the other. Stay neutral and watch things closely so that you will be prepared to take action as soon as the direction of the market becomes clear.
- Don’t Chase – Tracking the progress of moving prices is not the same thing as chasing it. Keep your position if a stock suddenly moves several levels. The larger a leap, likelier the fall. You don’t want to be caught in this thunder twist.
- Don’t Bring Home a Scalp Trade – Scalping is too quick and over night changes completely unpredictable. Before the end of the day, take your profits and cut your losses where they are. Tomorrow is a different day, and a different game.
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Netflix has made some big announcements in the past two weeks regarding its expansion into Latin America and that it is raising prices on its bundled DVD and streaming packages. While we are currently updating our 3 estimate for Netflix’sestimates, we have nearly tripled our price estimate during the course of the last 15 months. We believe that the market is overestimating the growth in some …
Read more on Forbes via Yahoo! News
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Read more on Business Wire