The market in which shares are issued and traded, either through exchanges or over-the-counter markets. Also known as the stock market, it is one of the most vital areas of a market economy because it gives companies access to capital and investors a slice of ownership in a company and gains based on future company performance.

The securities traded in the equity market can be either public stocks, which are those listed on the stock exchange, or privately traded stocks. Often, private stocks are traded through dealers, which is the definition of an over-the-counter market.

A stock (share/equity) signifies ownership of a corporation and represents a claim on the company’s assets and earnings.

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