jen (witchbabywigg) wrote in thequestionclub,

stock exchange?

I realize this may be far too huge a question to be answered here, but I'l give it a shot anyway.

I've been reading up on how stock markets work because I have no idea about them at all. It's crazy gibberish to me, and I thought I should figure it out. I've been reading lots of simple explanations this evening, and I've finally come to a good basic grasp of how it all happens.
But I can't find much info on the actual trading floor. It seems like the most important part of the process, but it hasn't been explained in any "How The Stock Market Works" articles I've read yet.

When they show the 'stock market' on CNN (which i guess is the NY exchange usually) who are all those people down there? What is on the monitors? And what do they do all day?
They're typically shown standing in small groups, screaming and waving papers. Who are they screaming at and why? And how does anything get traded if it's all just a bunch of yelling? How do they keep track of anything?

Alternately, Toronto's stock exchange seems to be done entirely by computer. There is no screaming people, really no people in there at all. Just a big display board and some desks with computers. You can walk right in.
How is that possible, such stark contrast to the american market? Do they work the same way?

Stocks man, what the hell.

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