The stock market allows numerous buyers and sellers of securities to meet, interact, and transact. Stock markets allow for price discovery for shares of corporations and serve as a barometer for the overall economy. Since the number of stock market participants is huge, one can often be assured of a fair price and a high degree of liquidity as various market participants compete with one another for the best price.
A stock market is a regulated and controlled environment. In the United States, the main regulators include the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and market participants under the purview of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Since the stock market brings together hundreds of thousands of market participants who wish to buy and sell shares, it ensures fair pricing practices and transparency in transactions. While earlier stock markets used to issue and deal in paper-based physical share certificates, the modern-day computerized stock markets operate electronically.