What’s In Store For the 2021 Stock Market?
The past 12 months have been an exciting and interesting time for all the stock exchanges around the world. Amid a global pandemic and political changes in dozens of developed nations, nearly all the key indicators showed surprising strength and durability, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S & P 500. The Dow took a temporary hit at the beginning of 2020 when COVID struck, but since then has come roaring back.
It not only made up all those lost points but has tacked on about 4,000 more, currently hovering close to the 35,000 mark. The S&P 500 did almost the same thing, falling rapidly from mid-February to mid-March of last year, only to recoup all the loss and rise even higher, now sitting near the 4,300 mark. Here’s what the rest of 2021 could have in store for anyone interested in taking part in the global securities markets.
What’s the Purpose of the Stock Market?
Before examining what the rest of the year has in store for corporations and investors, it’s important to recall the two reasons the securities markets came into existence. Even after more than a century of daily buying, selling, and deal-making, those two purposes still underpin the existence of all the major global exchanges. The first purpose is to allow organizations, also known as listed firms, the chance to acquire capital so they can go about their daily operations, grow, and prosper. Second to that, but no less vital, is that the exchanges give ordinary investors the ability to benefit by owning a piece of any entity that is listed on the trading board.
Businesses Raise Money as Needed
For example, a new business might not have enough luck raising the funds it needs via private sources, loans, and angel investors. When that happens, it has the chance to apply to appear on the exchange’s board and accept direct capital inflow from the public, through a network of brokers.
Private Citizens Can Earn a Living
For individuals who want to own a portion of any listed entity, shares are available for sale. There’s no limit on investing timelines or amounts, as long as the purchase is legally made through a licensed agent. Many stock market enthusiasts who want to earn regular income learn how to day trade and take part in daily sessions. By definition, day traders close out all their positions each day, never holding equity shares overnight.
Corporate Earnings Estimates
After the COVID pandemic restrictions eased up and the global economy began getting back to normal in early 2021, many corporations unexpectedly exceeded earnings expectations. As is the case with share prices, earnings can sometimes travel for a while on built-up momentum. But even though most of the prognosticators and Sunday morning TV shows were expecting to see 2020’s momentum die down heading into the new year, it was not as significant as expected. Then, dozens of major companies began reporting record earnings early in the second quarter of 2021, which means there’s likely a new wave of enthusiasm and optimism coming out of the pandemic.
Overall Direction and New Leaders
Since March of 2020, the overall direction of the equity markets has been generally upward. Even in the doldrums of the later part of last year, the general trajectory of share prices was up, a megatrend that has continued to this day. What new leaders are emerging? Some of the biggest winners of the past six months have included companies in sectors like pharmaceuticals, healthcare, retail, and home improvement. Now that the economy is focused more on home delivery, online commerce, and working from home, merchants who have plugged into those major trends are enjoying broad-based success.
Low Risk, Not No Risk
Even the most diversified portfolio of blue-chip stocks still comes with risk. It’s essential for newcomers to the marketplace to understand that low risk is not the same thing as no risk. Anyone who puts their money on the line for the purposes of earning a profit from stocks, bonds, forex, options, commodities, or anything else, faces the ups and downs of the international economy. However, for prudent traders, there are multiple ways to minimize risk, keep an eye on account balances, and take part in one of the most exciting financial enterprises on earth: the international securities exchanges.
TIME FOR WINE