Stock markets: Shares of publicly traded companies are able to issue or sell stock shares on the stock market. It allows businesses to raise capital for expansion and growth, as well as giving investors an opportunity to purchase a share of the company’s stock. A stock market can provide a gauge of economic health. Stock prices fluctuation could indicate investor optimism about the state of the economy. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is the US’s most prominent stock exchange, but you can also find many regional or electronic stock markets.
Bond markets: Governments, corporations, and municipalities can use the bond market to issue bonds (or debt securities) in order to raise capital. Most bonds have a fixed rate, which means they will mature in the near future. A good indicator of interest rates and investor confidence can be found in the bond market. US Treasury bonds and municipal bonds from state and local governments dominate the US bond market.
The mortgage markets are a place where people and institutions lend and borrow money in order to buy real estate. The property purchased is usually secured for mortgages. They have a longer term (15 to 30 years). It can drive the market for housing, as fluctuations in mortgage costs and their availability could have an impact on the economy. Fannie Mae (US) and Freddie Mac are the two largest US mortgage markets. They purchase mortgages from lenders, banks, and then package the securities into securities to be sold to investors.
Private Equity Markets: Private Equity market is where Private Equity firms can raise money from investors to invest and acquire shares in companies that are not publicly traded. Private equity firms can either acquire control of a company, or make the company public. The majority of private equity firms target businesses with high growth potential, but low valuations. Leveraged buyouts or distressed businesses are also options for private equity investors. These funds are used by private equity firms to buy these businesses. They often have the aim of growing their business and improving operations in the long-term. The Carlyle Group and KKR are America’s largest private equity firms.
Every one of these institutions and markets plays a unique but vital role in the US’s economy. The stock market can provide a barometer of the overall health of the economy and investor sentiment, the bond market can provide an indication of the interest rate environment and the level of investor confidence in the economy, the mortgage market can drive the housing market and impact the economy, and the private equity markets can be significant driver of M&A activity and can provide funding to support the growth of companies.