What is the 'Equity Market' The market in which shares are issued and traded, either through exchanges or over-the-counter markets. Also known as the stock market, it is one of the most vital areas of a market economy because it gives companies access to capital and investors a slice of ownership in a company with the potential to realize gains based on its future performance.
The place where stocks in the equity market are traded is the stock exchange. There are many exchanges around the world, and they can be either physical places or virtual gathering spots. NASDAQ is an example of a virtual trading post, in which stocks are traded electronically through a network of computers. Electronic stock exchanges often include a market maker, which is a broker-dealer company that both buys and sells stocks in order to facilitate trading for a particular stock. This comes at a risk to the company, but it makes the exchange process for a given stock manipulation more smoothly. Electronic trading posts are becoming more common and a preferred method of trading over physical exchanges.
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