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What are Resistance and Support Levels?

What are Resistance and Support Levels?

In technical analysis, a level of resistance is an imaginary barrier that keeps the price of a security from rising beyond a certain level. Conversely, a level of support is an imaginary barrier that keeps the price of a security from falling beyond a certain level. A resistance line can be thought of as the theoretical glass ceiling that a security price has difficulty breaking through. Resistance lines (along with moving averages, standard deviation, and similar calculations) are used to put a range of probability on the expected movement of a security price, with the resistance line representing the top of that range. Continue reading...

What is the High-Low Index?

What is the High-Low Index?

Often referred to in the media as “New Highs and New Lows,” the High-Low Index is an observation of the number of stocks which hit 52-week highs or lows in the current day. The High-Low Index is usually expressed as a simple moving average (10-day or longer) of the Record High Percent. A Simple Moving Average (SMA) is a technical indicator that can help traders determine whether a bull or bear trend will continue or reverse course. It typically adds up closing prices for a given time period, then divides that figure by the number of time periods used for the average. Simple moving averages are effective in their simplicity, but their efficacy is most closely tied to how they are used. By giving equal weight to each data point, SMAs can limit bias towards any specific point in a specific time period. Continue reading...

What is Accrual Accounting?

Accrual accounting is the counterpart to cash accounting, and the accrual method puts expenses and revenues on the books as soon as they are contractually agreed-upon. Accrual accounting is required by GAAP conventions for all publicly traded companies who have over $5 million in annual revenues. This method is the counterpart to cash accounting, which may be more useful to smaller businesses. In accrual accounting, the expenses and revenues which are agreed upon are written onto the business’s ledger at the current time, regardless of when payment will actually settle on the transaction. When a sale is made or service is performed, the revenue from the activity is documented, even if no cash is received in the current period. Continue reading...

What is Account History?

Account history is a term especially useful for investment accounts, where transactions beyond a current month or year’s records are useful for reference. Most people are familiar with the transaction history that is available for the current month, quarter, or year on an individual’s savings, checking, and credit card accounts. These are often called “activity ledgers” or something similar. Account history that reaches further back might be more useful for investment accounts, where the current value of investments, and their cost basis, will depend heavily on account history from potentially years in the past. This sort of query can be made easily with online investment account viewing software from a broker or custodian company. Continue reading...

What is Return on Assets?

Return on Assets, or ROA, is an efficiency ratio which quantifies how much profit a company can generate with the assets it has. Return on Assets is a ratio of the net income of a company divided by the amount of assets it has on the books. It can also be synonymous with Return on Investment (ROI), at least at a corporate level. Theoretically this gives analysts an idea of how much profit a company could generate by buying more equipment or other assets, or how efficiently they use the assets in which they have invested. Comparing companies in a specific industry to their peers with ratios such as this one can be illuminating. Continue reading...

What is the Federal Reserve System?

What is the Federal Reserve System?

The Federal Reserve System was established by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, which created a network of reserve banks that could help to prevent economic meltdowns by serving as a regulator and a source of funds. There are 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks which monitor banks in their jurisdiction and make loans when necessary. The Federal Reserve System is sometimes referred to as one bank, but it is in fact a network of 12 banks with 24 branches, overseen by a Board with members nominated by the US Government. Continue reading...

What are Fibonacci Fans?

What are Fibonacci Fans?

Fibonacci Fans are a charting technique that combines traditional Fibonacci lines and Fibonacci channels. They use the Fibonacci levels in a radial way, drawing trendlines from a point of primary importance, such as a low or peak, to identify future points of retracement or extension. Some investors believe that, like many naturally occurring systems in nature, market behavior will exhibit some fractal-like forms that can be measured with Fibonacci sequence numbers and the Golden Ratio. Modern computing power has uncovered plentiful examples of the Golden Ratio in nature, from Nautilus shells to musical harmonics, as well as mathematical fractal patterns. Fibonacci numbers are related to the study of chaos theory, which seeks to find order in complex systems. Since the markets have so many variables, but no lack of data, they are an excellent place to search for Fibonacci patterns. Continue reading...

What is the Rising Flag (Bullish) Pattern?

What is the Rising Flag (Bullish) Pattern?

The Rising Flag (or Bullish Flag) pattern looks like a flag with a mast. It forms when rising prices experience a consolidation period, and the price moves within a narrow range defined by the parallel lines through points (2,­ 4) and (3,­ 5). After the consolidation, the previous trend resumes. This type of formation happens when the price of a security is expected to move in a rising trend line, but some volatility along the way creates a consolidation period. Continue reading...

How Do You Use Ethereum?

How Do You Use Ethereum?

When most people ask this question they are actually asking how to use Ether, the main currency of the Ethereum platform. But the Ethereum platform can be used in many ways as well. Ethereum is a platform that can be used by developers to create decentralized applications (dapps), tokens/cryptocurrencies, and basically anything else that can be programmed. It was the front-runner of the race to develop what is sometimes called Crypto 2.0: blockchain technologies that go well beyond singular usage as digital currency and instead reach and revolutionize every aspect of digital technology in the world today. People can and do use Ether, the primary currency of the Ethereum system, to make transactions like a currency, or as an investment. Continue reading...

What is the Head-and-Shoulders Top (Bearish) Pattern?

The Head-­and-­Shoulders Top pattern forms when a pair is testing new highs on an uptrend, but fails to retest its highest high and break upward. Mounting selling pressure takes over each time a pair approaches its high. The pattern forms with a center peak (the Head, labeled 3) and left and right Shoulders (1, 5). Eventually the pair stops testing highs and reverses trend into a decline. Consider selling the pair short before it declines or buying a put option to benefit from the price decline. To improve success chances, wait for a confirmation move: allow the price to break below the Neckline level (2, 4), which is calculated as the average of the two lows between the Head and the Shoulders. To estimate an exit, calculate the pattern height by taking the price difference between the Head (3) and the Neckline price (4), and subtract that from the Neckline price level/breakout price level. Continue reading...