How to Keep an Eye on the Stock Market

How to Keep an Eye on the Stock Market Man in Suit Looking Through Binoculars at Line Chart Featured Image

If you’re investing and looking to boost the health of your portfolio, keeping an eye on the stock market should be in your playbook. With all those companies, sectors, and indexes, how exactly do you follow everything?

You likely watch your holdings closely, but zooming out and viewing the market as a whole can be essential to optimizing your strategy. Sure, you can check the Dow or S&P daily to get a general pulse, but is that all it takes?

Let’s get into some of the facets of the stock market that indicate bigger trends and moves and the popular information channels people use to stay current.

Why Tracking the Stock Market is Important for Investors

Tracking the stock market has benefits beyond just keeping up with the latest prices on your favorite company. By doing your homework, you can make better-informed decisions that may positively impact your growth.

You can get ahead of trends, recognize when you’re in a bear versus bull market, and adjust your portfolio accordingly. Whether you take an active or passive investment strategy, keeping an eye on the stock market is vital to long-term growth.

How to Follow the Stock Market

Whether it’s a specific sector or the market as a whole, you can look at a few particular things to get a handle on the current landscape and where things are heading. Let’s dive into some prominent factors you should watch.

Keep an Eye on Interest Rates

Interest rates can directly affect the price of stocks. High-interest rates often lead everyone to spend less. That generally causes companies’ earnings to fall, resulting in a drop in stock prices.

The opposite happens when interest rates are low. People feel more comfortable spending money, and companies can borrow money for less. These combined usually lead to an uptick in stock values across the market.

Look at Commodity Pricing

Another factor to pay attention to is commodity pricing. Raw materials such as natural gas, wheat, corn, gold, silver, and especially oil can impact the financial market.

Tracking changes in these things may let you adjust your portfolio to account for future fluctuations. For example, when oil prices are high, it affects the whole economy. One commodity can diminish companies’ earning expectations and drag several stock market sectors down in the process.

Pay Attention to Earnings Reports

To be listed on the stock market, publicly traded companies must provide quarterly financial statements. These reports outline their profits, losses, and other information like, earnings margins, future plans, and projected revenue.

Periodically check out prominent companies or listen to their conference call recordings. You can use this information to project the future performance of a single company or sometimes an entire sector.

Follow Industry Trends

You don’t need to obsess over the tiny changes in the ticker, but staying current on general market trends is wise. The market can react months in advance of anticipated economic changes.

Did you hear news of a recession on the horizon next year? It might be time to look at what performed well during the last one. It’s good to know about things like whether the market is shifting from a bear to a bull, as that can affect your decision-making process.

5 Ways to Keep Your Eye on the Stock Market

In today’s world, information is available in every avenue imaginable, from our screens to radio and podcasts. It’s up to you to choose how you want to receive it. Let’s look at the most popular ways people keep an eye on the market

1. The News

Tuning into the news is still many people’s go-to for keeping up to date with the happenings of the stock market. You can put finance-dedicated channels like CNBC on your television all day long to really get your daily fill.

If TV isn’t your jam, you can always visit the websites of your favorite networks for the same feeds. You can even sign up for text updates at many outlets and receive the latest stock market news directly from your phone.

2. Stock Market Watch Lists

Perhaps one of the best ways to access the latest updates for specific companies and indexes you’re interested in is by tracking the market through watch lists.

You can use software to follow groups of stocks, see their every move, and even go back in time to see how they performed during certain points in history. Is your energy list up 12 points this month? It might be time to dig into what is going on.

3. Google Email Alerts

Google Alerts is a service that notifies you by email anytime news pops up related to your preferred topic. It lets you track any keyword or phrase appearing in a Google search result right in your inbox.

That means you can read articles about nearly anything adjacent to the stock market on your time without having to hunt for it all. It’s a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of any particular subject you’re focused on.

4. Social Media Platforms

Social media has become a resource for a broad spectrum of things outside of sharing our lives and cute pictures of dogs. Most finance sites have social media accounts on a variety of platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok. All you have to do is choose your preferred network and click follow for the latest scoop.

There are also Twitch streamers talking about the market, Discord servers (Like Stock VIP) you can join, and even RSS feeds that can keep you up to date.

5. Podcasts

Podcasts are perfect for auditory learners and can be particularly useful on your morning commute. You can find a podcast episode about any topic, whether you want a recap on the stock market news for the week, a breakdown of recent market trends, or interviews with financial advisors.

Check out Invest Like the Best and Chat with Traders. They both have great production quality and engaging guests that cover a broad range of topics.

Does Bitcoin Follow the Market?

This question comes up time and time again. Initially, for the first few years, Bitcoin seemed to have no correlation to the movement of the stock market. However, in 2018 some similarities began to emerge.

Although it isn’t a perfect mirror, Bitcoin and other cryptos tend to mimic drastic swings, especially when the market falls.

Tracking the Market Will Help You Optimize Your Investments

Tracking the stock market can benefit investors of all strategies and skill levels. By tapping into market trends, earnings reports, interest rates, and commodity pricing, you’ll get a wealth of information and really keep your finger on the pulse.

Additionally, the resources you need to be a successful investor have never been more accessible. Setting a Google alert or checking your favorite social media platform is easy. If you want to take it one step further and automatically track an unlimited number of watchlists, Stock Market Eye has a 30-day free trial to get you started.

If you haven’t started tapping into everything the information age has to offer, there’s no better time than now. Best case, you find a valuable win and turn it into a growth opportunity. Worst case, you come out the other side more informed.

Ashley Grasse Avatar
Ashley Grasse Ashley Grasse is a research writer that has been saving and investing for retirement for over 20 years. She enjoys a nice cup of coffee, traveling, and spending time outdoors.