Financial Markets

Central to investing and activity are NYSE Euronext exchanges, where billions of dollars worth of stock change hands each day. Only the highest quality companies can choose to list their securities on our exchanges.  And once they do, NYSE Euronext plays a unique role in providing deep and liquid markets for the trading of those securities, benefiting all investors, large and small.

Modern financial markets are computerized networks that  ensure efficient trading between financial institutions and investors

Cash markets and derivatives markets
In cash markets, shares bought or sold are immediately settled.  In contrast, settlements of financial instruments traded in derivative markets, such as options and futures, are traded and their are reported at a future date. Each derivative instrument is  linked to another asset – a stock, a stock index, a commodity, etc. – from which it can not be separated: the derivative instrument’s value comes from this underlying asset and its market price is correlated to the asset’s market price. Derivative instruments are risky investments: they require a low initial investment and can generate high gains or losses.  

Regulated markets and over-the-counter (OTC) markets
Regulated stock exchanges and financial markets must adhere to rules designed to protect investors. Initial public offerings (IPOs) and company stock offerings are only possible when companies follow  market rules including sufficient information dissemination and transparency . Cash markets and derivative markets play a central role in  trades between buyers and sellers. Organized markets also furnish other secure services to investors. NYSE Euronext, for instance,  set up programs to ensure greater liquidity for trades in its regulated markets. Greater liquidity enables faster trades and helps to ensure fair market prices for investors.

For their part, over-the-counter (OTC) markets do not answer to these regulatory obligations, nor do theyguarantee trade liquidity. Therefore they present greater risks for investors, particularly individual investors. - Markets Paris - Markets Paris

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