Trading in the financial markets is the act of buying or selling a security, usually with the intention of making a profit. There are millions of market participants at any given time, all with their own plans and strategies, making the financial markets an incredibly competitive arena.
The Futures Market
The futures markets are a series of central financial exchanges where traders can trade standardised contracts. These contracts can be to either buy or sell an asset at a specified price and with delivery at a set time. Futures contracts exist for a number of things, from bonds to grain, and oil to cattle.
Technical analysis is an approach to studying price movements relying on charts of historical price data. Traders can use technical techniques to attempt to predict market direction based on support/resistance lines, trend lines, price patterns and indicators and more. There is an almost endless array of technical and statistical tools available to help interpret market activity.
Fundamental analysis seeks to determine the value of an asset by looking at data points and news. For individual equities, this includes company revenues and earnings, levels of debt or even changes in management. On a macroeconomic level this may include employment rates, GDP, interest rate announcements and market surveys.