Why Do Stock Share Prices Change?

Even if you don’t yet know too much about the stock market, you’ll probably be aware that prices change on a regular basis. But why is this? Why can the price of one share be at one level on one day, and an entirely different level the next? Let’s find out more, so you know what to expect if and when you start buying or selling shares.

Supply and demand

This natural law means the price of something – anything, not just shares – is likely to go up the fewer items are available (supply). However it also relies on how many people want that item (demand).

Let’s say there are 100 shares at $10 each. If less than 100 people want them, the price might drop or stay the same. If more than 100 people want them, the price will rise. If there are 1000 shares at $50 each and less than 1000 people want them, the price would stay static or drop. More than 1000 buyers would lead to a price rise. So you see the amount of shares available and their initial price do not matter. It is the law of supply and demand that matters.

Profit warnings

Sometimes businesses will issue profit warnings if they are having a tough period of trading. These will usually lead to a drop in the share price, as the business could be in trouble. The shares will not therefore be as valuable as they would be if a business issues a good report on its earnings, pointing towards a better and more profitable future in turn.

The influence of outer forces

This might sound like something in a sci-fi drama, but in reality it’s nothing of the sort. Every business is affected by all manner of external forces. This could be anything from a rise in interest rates to a recession. If a business starts experiencing problems owing to an external force such as this, you can be sure the share prices will be affected accordingly.

Of course if a business bucks the trend and still brings in good profits despite such issues from outside, its share prices will typically rise and improve. This will be in contrast to other businesses that may be struggling.

The actions of a large shareholder

While some shareholders have relatively small amounts of shares, others have lots. These are the big shareholders that represent companies of various kinds, such as insurance brokers. If one of these shareholders should sell their shares – for whatever reason – it can spark panic among the rest. Why are they selling such a large amount of shares? Even if the company isn’t in trouble, this type of action can send the prices into freefall.

So you can see there are lots of reasons why the prices can change. The more you understand this before buying or selling shares, the easier it will be to understand the movements of the stock market. It also adds to your knowledge, and that can only be a good thing.

Incoming search terms:

Lets Talk About This!