What is the Stock Market?

The term “stock market” is a broad term referring to all the buying and selling of shares in publicly traded companies. Within this broad market, there are numerous organized stock exchanges where professional brokers will buy and sell shares on behalf of their customers, and individuals can also buy and sell among themselves without an organized exchange.

The main organized stock exchanges in the U.S. are the New York Stock Exchange (on Wall Street in New York City) and the NASDAQ (an electronic based exchange). In addition, most developed countries have their own stock exchanges. The sum total of all these organized exchanges plus the private stock sales activity is termed “the stock market.”