The stock market is a public market for the trading of company stock and derivatives at an agreed price. The size of the world stock market was estimated at about $36.6 trillion . Participants in the stock market range from small individual stock investors to large hedge fund traders, who can be based anywhere. Their orders usually end up with a professional at a stock exchange, who executes the order. Some exchanges are physical locations where transactions are carried out on a trading floor, by a method known as open outcry. This type of auction is used in stock exchanges and commodity exchanges where traders may enter "verbal" bids and offers simultaneously. The other type of stock exchange is a virtual kind, composed of a network of computers where trades are made electronically via traders. The stock market is one of the most important sources for companies to raise money. This allows businesses to be publicly traded, or raise additional capital for expansion by selling shares of ownership of the company in a public market. The liquidity that an exchange provides affords investors the ability to quickly and easily sell securities. This is an attractive feature of investing in stocks, compared to other less liquid investments such as real estate.

Many people depend on the stock market. That is whole large companies raise most of their money. The stock market plays into globalization because it is a worldwide thing people from China can trade with people from Australia. People trade and invest all over the place. The stock market brings people together.

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