Each student is required to turn in written reports on financial market activity covering the first two months of the semester. Reports will cover periods from September 7  through September 30 (due October 4) and October 1 through October 30 (due November 1).

The purpose of the assignment is to familiarize students with trends and important events that move prices in financial markets. The reports should include at least the following three components.

Summary of important events and announcements in financial markets as well as a discussion of economic and political events that have influenced financial markets during the month. Section B Equities column in the Wall Street Journal is the best source for information about what caused changes in the market. Here’s a link for accessing this column online.

  1. Presentation of data. At a minimum, include daily observations of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Standard and Poor’s 500, and the NASDAQ Indexes. (Feel free to include other indexes which may interest you.) Data must be presented in a table format and must be supplemented with graphs to aid in presentation, identification of trends, and interpretation. Use Excel software to enter each day’s closing value for each index and to graph all closing values for the month. Graph results for each index separately.
  2. Interpret the results.
  3. discussion of relationships between observed market movements and economic/political events during the month, i.e., tie specific market results to specific events;
  4. discussion of similarities and differences across the three indexes for the period;
  5. Summary of how the market performed during the period.


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