Equity market performance is the indicator of an individual stock, a group of stocks or the stock market as a whole. An equity index tracks the performance of sectors, industries and very large groups of stocks that indicate total market performance. Individual company shares are issued and traded on exchanges throughout the world. Stocks are categorized into market indexes for the purpose of tracking the performance of certain market segments.
The performance of an individual stock can be evaluated in several ways. Technical analysis charts track the price performance over a period of time. Historical and current price data is plotted on a chart or graph, producing a visual interpretation of price performance. Charting programs are available through stockbrokers and online vendors.
Fundamental performance can be tracked through the historical data concerning dividends and various ratios, such as the price/earnings ratio. Fundamental market performance of individual equities is often studied by investors concerned with the fundamental value of companies. Typical reasoning is that price performance will follow fundamental value. Software programs and online vendors provide fundamental analysis programs that rank and rate stocks according to their performance.
Equity market performance is often tracked through the price performance of major indexes. Each index typically focuses on a market in a particular country. These indices are tracked on price charts ranging from seconds to decades.
The general economic conditions of a country and possibly the world are related to these broad indices. The equity market performances of countries are tracked by governments, companies and banks. Economic policy mighty be altered because of the performance of equity markets. Companies might change policies or procedures because of a change in the performance of a particular industry.
Broad indices are broken down into smaller segments that pertain to a specific industry or sector. The equity market performance of the energy sector might be all companies involved in creation and distribution of energy. This sector may be further broken down into industries such as oil, natural gas or solar power. Investors might search for particular industries that are trending or have reached a bottom.
Equity market performance typically is a reference to price performance of a broad equity index. The performance of individual industries and stocks might be equally important to the investor. Online brokers and vendors provide technical and fundamental tools to indicate the performance of all equity markets.