Essay: WHAT MAKES THE STOCK MARKET GO UP--AND DOWN

FROM its inception, the stock market was meant to be a place where businessmen could raise capital by selling shares in their enterprises, and where investors could turn a profit when those enterprises prospered. The market still serves both purposes, but today it is judged less by what it does for businessmen seeking capital than by what it accomplishes for investors seeking gain.

In a time of high and rising taxes, investment in stocks is one of the few ways by which a wage or salary earner can hope to become rich—at least on...

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