If you have been reading the other articles on this site, then many times already you have read that research is an important part of investing. In fact, it may be the most important part.
The stock market report is an invaluable tool for that research. It can tell you how your portfolio is doing as well as how the stock market in general is doing. Make no mistake, the overall stock market's status has an affect on your portfolio. Of course, the stock report, despite its wealth of information, is no good to you if you don't know how to read it. It's kind of like how despite Chaucer's great skill as an author, The Canterbury Tales means nothing to me if it's not traslated. When you first look at the report, it might seem like a lot of gibberish. Here is what you need to now about a stock market report.
Stock market reports will have the company stocks listed as symbols rather than having the entire name. These stock symbols, or ticker symbols, are one to five letters. You should write down, or better yet memorize, the symbols for your stocks since many of them are similar. You want to be sure you are looking at the right thing.
You should always look at the stock's closing price, which will often be right after the stock symbol. Compare it to the last price you looked at. Did it go up or down and by how much? The number will often have an arrow pointing up or down and a percentage, which is the percent change during that day.
You also want to check the different stock market indexes, such as the Dow Jones, the Nasdaq, and the S&P, and see how they did as a whole. You hear information on these indexes all the time on the news, with reports about the Dow being up or down and by how many points. Looking at how the different indexes performed gives you a good idea of the state of the market as a whole, which affects every stock, including your own.