What if you are interested in index trading and looking for the popular indices to trade in the financial market! Then, sit tight. This blog is only for you! Here, we will talk about indices from scratch and provide you with a good overview so that you can have a better idea before trading indexes.
What is Index Trading?
Index trading is defined as the buying and selling of a specific stock market index. These trading tools allow traders to track the performance of a group of stocks. They represent a particular sector of the financial market.
Depending on the needs of the market, there are numerous types of indexes. Some track the performance of companies from a country, and some track the performance of a particular sector. Through these tools, you can get a pretty good idea of a specific industry’s performance, and based on that, you can decide whether you want to invest or not.
Basically, some investors prefer to invest in indexes rather than individual stocks because of the full exposure and good returns. Besides, it is difficult to understand which individual stock will perform better than index. So, some investors like to invest in index to avoid making this difficult decision.
It is true that you might find some good individual stocks that outperform indexes. But based on the methodology and metrics used to create the index, there are good possibilities that you would get an average return from the indexes.
Till now, we got to know what index trading is. Next, we will learn about some major indices
What are the Major Indices?
Around the world, you will see numerous indices, and here we will present the major indices, which are considered the largest and most popular in the world.
The NASDAQ 100 is an index that consists of 100 non-financial companies listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. It is called NAS100 as well. It is a leading US stock index and one of the most popular as well. Nasdaq 100 contains some of the biggest tech companies. Besides, investors often use it to measure the performance of the United States’s biggest tech companies.
How is the NASDAQ 100 calculated?
The NASDAQ 100 is calculated by the market capitalization of its constituents. The value of it is calculated by multiplying each security’s last sale price with the total value of the index share weights of each of the index securities and then dividing by the index advisor.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is also known as the DOW 30. It is a stock market index and publicly owned 30 blue-chip companies that trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Through this index, investors can track the performance of the 30 large companies that are trading on the NYSE and Nasdaq.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is considered one of the most important indexes in the financial market. The performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) helps investors understand the sentiment in the market. It is important to understand how the market is moving, and this index has a great impact on the stock market all over the world.
S&P 500 (SPX)
The S&P 500 (SPX) is known as SPX in the financial market. It is one of the largest indexes in the world. SPX means Sequenced Packet Exchange, a networking protocol. Basically, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks from a broad range of industries. It tracks the top 500 publicly traded domestic companies in the United States.
It is the most important and popular index as it helps investors understand the current situation of the stock market. Besides, it is used as a standard measurement to understand the equities move. So, through it, investors get to know the market movements and decide whether to invest or not in the market.
The FTSE 100 is a different index from the above-mentioned indices. It is not based in the United States. The FTSE 100 is a market-capitalization weighted index of UK- listed blue chip companies. This index is part of the FTSE UK Series.
The FTSE 100 helps the investors to measure the performance of the 100 largest companies traded on the London Stock Exchange. There are other similar types of indices such as the FTSE 250 or the FTSE 500.
Pros and Cons of Index Trading
Before getting into the index trading, it is better knowing the pros and cons of it.
Pros of Trading Indexes
- Indexes do not require investigation on every single equity in the market to invest
- You can invest in different indices and have a diversified portfolio.
- Indexes help investors to measure the market performance and based on that, investors can decide whether to invest or not.
- It is an easy and convenient way to invest in different market sectors rather than buying individual stocks.
- Indexes carry low cost and average returns
- It helps to avoid large volatility
Cons of Trading Indexes
- It lacks of downside protection because there is no floor to losses.
- Investors do not have the power to compose the index.
- Traders cannot beat the market as they will be trading the average market
Last Few Words
It is true that indices offer great exposure to the financial market and it helps the investors a great deal. An investor doesn’t need to worry about the large volatility or the unexpected stock moves. But like everything, it has the downsides as well. But if a trader overcomes the disadvantages and utilizes the upsides of the market, he will receive a decent return from the market.
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