Catching Up on the Markets (& Interview Prep)


The markets are constantly changing, and there are so many factors that influence it: politics, fiscal policies, you name it. It can definitely be challenging to keep up with the markets, so I'll be listing some resources that I find helpful.

Whether you work in finance or not, I highly recommend reading up on the markets. It's so fascinating how interconnected stock markets, political and economic policies are to our everyday lives.
(Scroll down to the end of this post for interview preparation advice for markets-related questions)


My personal favorite, The Wall Street Journal, obviously...
Pretty straightforward so I will not be explaining much here.
But I highly recommend reading the WSJ in addition to the above sites.

The only annoying thing is the actually important articles require a subscription. The good news is that the WSJ has an introductory offer for $1 for 2 months. WSJ offers special discounts for college students, so check if your university has a deal with the WSJ, so you can access it for free.


MarketWatch:

MarketWatch is a subsidiary of Dow Jones and provides information on what's going on in the business world and analyzes data from the stock market. It's a great site to check every morning for performance in US, Europe, and Asia markets.

I think what I enjoy the most about this website is its format. They utilize the margins on the website efficiently to make the latest information on the markets as readable as possible.

For M&A deals, my favorite site is DealBook from the New York TimesWhenever I hear of a deal, DealBook is the first place I'll check to learn more about it.

In addition to Mergers & Acquisitions, they also cover important trends in investment banking, private equity/venture capital, and hedge funds.

To catch up on a global scale, I like the Financial Times. You don't have to click around as much on FT as you do on other sites to read articles about, say, Japan, Russia and the UK as well as different sectors.

  

Last but not least, Bloomberg. Its markets section is clearly organized into different securities and rates, making it easy to check realtime data and metrics.
When you're reading an article from any of the aforementioned sites, chances are you may come across a term or concept that you're unfamiliar with (this is especially true as a liberal arts student with minimal business exposure). Instead of skipping over it, look it up on Investopedia, and reread the article you were reading before. I also recommend keeping a journal (I use Evernote) to write down concepts/terms/formulas you had forgotten about and how it is relevant to the financial markets today.
If you are preparing for finance interviews, markets-related questions are inevitable. 
Regardless of whether you are applying for banking, asset management, or sales & trading, read the news on the following topics because they WILL come up in your interviews:
  • Trends of the major stock indices: DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ
    • If you are applying for Asia offices, it may be helpful to know the trends for Nikkei 225 and Hang Seng Index as well.
  • Trends in foreign exchange rates: Dollar vs. Yen, Dollar vs. Euro, Overnight Rate
  • Interest Rates
    • Be well versed on the Fed's plans to increase interest rates
    • The financial impacts of interest rate increases on the banking sector
    • Know which sectors would benefit or lose from interest rate hikes
  • Trends in the prices of commodities and their implications on the market: primarily changes in the prices of gold, silver, and oil. Definitely read up on OPEC's plans to reduce their oil production.
This was a super nerdy post, but I hope you found this post helpful, especially if you are currently going through finance recruitment.

Best,
Phyllis