Market data…what does it all mean?

Everything you need to know about the market data shown in the Morning Toast.

We include a series of fixed recurring indicators, as well as a  rotating cast of characters in the Markets table of the Morning Toast. 

Douugh’s home is Australia, and we offer access to US investing options. That’s why you’ll see information and news that reflects what's happening in Australia and the United States.

Most of our data is based on the previous day’s data after the market closes in the US and before the Australian investing market opens. Bitcoin prices are pulled around 6 pm ET, and the change over the last 24 hours is calculated. Other data, such as Inflation, is based on the latest announcements from the central banks. Most of our data comes from Financial Modeling Prep, and we also use multiple other sources. 

ASX (Futures)

What it is

ASX Futures are financial derivatives that allow traders to speculate on the future price of a specific underlying asset, which in this case is a stock listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), before the market opens. 

These futures contracts are traded on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and can be used for various purposes, such as hedging risk or making speculative trades. Each contract represents a specific number of shares in a particular stock and has an expiration date, at which point the contract is settled based on the prevailing market price of the underlying asset.

How it works

When ASX 200 futures are used to forecast the direction of the market ahead of open, it is the ASX SPI 200 Index being referenced. Traders will be buying and selling contracts for hours ahead of the Market open, so this often gives a reasonable indication as to where the market will open. 

Why it matters

In summary, futures can be used for short-term trading strategies to ‘predict’ market trends. However, ASX 200 futures are not always on the money and futures contracts can be much riskier than investing in quality companies due to leverage and the short-term time horizons.

AUD/USD Currency

What it is

AUD/USD (Australian Dollar - US Dollar) is one of the most frequently-traded currency pairs in the world. The AUD/USD rate tells investors how many US Dollars are needed to buy a single Australian Dollar. 

How it works

AUD/USD is the abbreviation for the Australian dollar/U.S. dollar currency pair, known informally as the "Aussie" among forex traders. A currency pair tells the reader how much of one currency is needed to purchase one unit of another currency. In this case, the Australian Dollar (abbreviated AUD) is considered the base currency, and the U.S. Dollar (abbreviated USD) is considered the quote currency, or the denomination in which the price quote is given.

Why it matters

The value of the AUD, relative to other currencies can be an indicator of the health of the economy. This is because the AUD either appreciates or depreciates based on a number of things, including the contrast of our interest rates vs other countries (e.g. the US), the ‘terms of trade’ often driven by commodities prices and international trade. 

The interest rate contrast is a key driver of the demand for, and supply of, Australian Dollars. It is also an important driver of capital flows, which measure the money that flows into, and out of Australia for investment purposes.

Terms of trade

The terms of trade measures the ratio of export prices to import prices. In general, an increase in terms of trade is associated with an appreciation of the Australian Dollar, while a decline in terms of trade is associated with a depreciation of the Australian Dollar. 

Buying and selling of AUD

Australian Dollars are also bought and sold to facilitate the international trade of goods and services. When Australians export (or sell) goods or services to an overseas buyer, the overseas buyer purchases Australian Dollars to pay the exporter (assuming the export is paid for in Australian Dollars). As a result, an increase in the demand for Australian exports also increases demand for Australian Dollars in the foreign exchange market and an appreciation of the Australian Dollar.

Conversely, when Australians import (or buy) goods and services from an overseas seller, the Australian importer sells Australian Dollars to obtain foreign currency to pay the overseas seller. In this case, when Australians demand more imports, the supply of Australian Dollars in the foreign exchange market increases, and the Australian Dollar depreciates.


What it is 

The NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) is a stock exchange located in the United States. It was founded in 1971 and is known for being the first electronic stock market. It is the second largest stock exchange in the world by market capitalization, behind the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The NASDAQ is home to many technology and internet-based companies and is often used as a benchmark for the overall performance of the technology sector. Some well-known companies that are listed on the NASDAQ include Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.

It's also important to note that Nasdaq exchange itself consists of several indexes like NASDAQ composite (overall performance of all companies listed on Nasdaq), NASDAQ 100 ( top 100 companies by market cap listed on Nasdaq) and others.

How it works 

The Nasdaq weights by market cap (the number of outstanding shares a company has multiplied by the share price), a setup that gives extra-large companies an extra-large impact. The Nasdaq is also heavily skewed toward tech companies, which account for nearly half the index's total value.

Why it matters

As the world's first electronic exchange, the Nasdaq has historically attracted more tech-focused companies. While the index tracks more stocks than the S&P and Dow combined, tech's heavy influence means the Nasdaq doesn't always illustrate how other industries are faring. The index can also be volatile because it includes more small, speculative companies.

S&P 500

What it is

The S&P 500 (Standard & Poor's 500) is a stock market index that comprises 500 large-cap stocks listed on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) and NASDAQ. These stocks are chosen for market size (over $8.2+ billion), liquidity, and industry group representation, among other criteria; if they slip they can be removed.  The S&P 500 is considered to be a leading indicator of the overall performance of the US equity market and is often used as a benchmark for the performance of actively managed portfolios.

How it works

Companies are weighted by their market cap, specifically their float-adjusted market cap (which only counts shares that are theoretically available for retail investors to buy). That means the S&P skews toward larger cap companies, and tech stocks now account for over a quarter of the index's total value.

Why it matters

With 500 stocks covering a broad range of industries, the S&P is widely considered the best indicator of large-cap stocks in the U.S. While the S&P's weighting-by-market-cap method is more common than the Dow's weighting by share price, it does introduce some risk that overvalued stocks will inflate the overall index.

10-Year U.S. Treasury

What it is

The 10-year Treasury is a debt instrument the U.S. government issues to fund itself. The Federal Reserve closely watches the "yield" (i.e. the return on investment) as a benchmark for other interest rates.

How it works

The U.S. Treasury issues bonds that are auctioned to investment banks by the Federal Reserve; banks can then sell those bonds to investors. The 10-year matures over—you guessed it—10 years, with interest paid out every six months until the full value is paid out at the end.

Why it matters

The 10-year is considered another safe-haven asset for investors. But as demand goes up, the yield goes down. Investors can even end up paying more than the face value of the Treasury note (but some are willing to accept the tradeoff for the low-risk investment).

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