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Business Research

Financial Market Data

What is market data?

Market data is price and trade-related data for a financial instrument reported by a trading venue such as a stock exchange; it allows traders and investors to know the latest price and see historical trends for instruments such as equities, fixed- income products, derivatives, and currencies.

The market data for a particular instrument typically includes the identifier of the instrument, e.g. ticker and the exchange, plus the latest bid, ask price and the time of the last trade.

Market price data is not only used in real-time to make on-the-spot decisions about buying or selling, but historical market data can also be used to project pricing trends and to calculate market risk on portfolios of investments that may be held by an individual or an institutional investor.


Aggregate Industry Norms & Business Ratios

Financial & Macroeconomic Data

What can I learn from financial and macroeconomic data?

Economic reports and indicators are those often-voluminous statistics put out by government agencies, non-profit organizations and even private companies. They provide measurements for evaluating the health of our economy, the latest business cycles and how consumers are spending and generally faring. Various economic indicators are released daily, weekly, monthly and/or quarterly.

Public Company Quarterly Earnings Calls

What are quarterly company earnings calls?

Every quarter, top management teams at publicly traded companies hold conference calls with analysts from Wall Street brokerage firms, who have a deep understanding of the industry and competitors and write reports evaluating the company's health and competitive position. The calls can be an excellent source of insights about the company, risks, current and future strategy and challenges, leadership, and more. They take place just before the release of a company's quarterly and annual earnings, and there are 4 calls a year. In addition to the earnings announcement, the discussion will also cover significant events like mergers and leadership changes. 

  • Mood of management
  • Mood of analysts
  • Management's plan to deal with disappointing earnings
  • Management's ability to answer tough questions
  • Strategies to strengthen position in the competitive marketplace
  • Management's vision

Locating Quarterly Earnings Call Transcripts or Video/Audio

  • Available in different formats, including video, audio and transcript
  • Sign up for alerts when the next call is scheduled

Company Investor Relations Website

  • Posts most recent 2-3 quarters


What is valuation and why is it important for me to know?

Valuation is determining the current or potential worth of a company. Three common methods used to determine valuation are: peer group analysis, transaction comparisons, and discounted cash flow. Knowing the valuation of a company can be useful to know what a buyer is willing to pay a seller. For more on valuation, see:

Deals: Mergers, Acquisitions & League Tables

What are mergers & acquisitions (M&A)?

Mergers and acquisitions describes the consolidation of companies or assets. M&A can be accomplished through various types of transactions including consolidations, tender offers, purchase of assets and management acquisitions. For more information, read this article from Investopedia

What are league tables?
Investment banking league tables rank investment banks on their level of involvement in specific types of transactions. An individual league table might, for example, rank the investment advisors of merger and acquisition deals (usually by aggregate deal volume across all transactions or for a specific industry) and another might rank the underwriters of equity or fixed income offerings.

Consulting Firms’ M&A Portals
A number of the large consulting firms publish data, surveys, articles and reports on mergers and acquisitions.

To explore other consulting firms (deloitte, pwc, ey, kpmg, bain, bcg, mckinsey, Accenture), run the following search in Google; only search for one firm at a time, changing the inurl:commend for each additional firm.


  • (m&a OR mergers OR acquisitions)
  • (m&a OR mergers OR acquisitions)

M&A Articles & News
The following databases are great sources for additional information about specific transactions and M&A trends.

Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)

What is an initial public offering (IPO)?

An initial public offering (IPO) refers to the process of offering shares of a private corporation to the public in a new stock issuance. Public share issuance allows a company to raise capital from public investors. The transition from a private to a public company can be an important time for private investors to fully realize gains from their investment as it typically includes share premiums for current private investors; it also allows public investors to participate in the offering.

Following are the key going public SEC Filings. Locate them on the company’s investor relations website or the SEC’s Company Search Page.

S-1 / Registration Statement

The SEC's Form S-1 is the initial form required for registering security offerings; it is often referred to as the Registration Statement. 

  • Part I is the Prospectus, the legal offering or "selling” document.  The issuer of the securities must describe in the prospectus the important facts about its business operations, financial condition, and management; it also includes information on the planned use of capital proceeds, detail the current business model and competition, and provides a brief prospectus of the planned security itself, offering price methodology and any dilution that will occur to other listed securities.  Everyone who buys the new issue, as well as anyone who is made an offer to purchase the securities, must have access to the prospectus.
  • Part II contains additional, supplementary information; while not required by the SEC, it can provide additional information of value to those interested in investing in the company.

The S-1 filing is the initial filing and usually the largest document.  However, it is not uncommon for multiple amendments to be filed after the initial S-1 filing.  These will be numbered: S-1/A

For more information about the contents of the S-1:


Some companies file a Preliminary Prospectus as a way to make relevant information available to prospective investors prior to the filing of the more complete S-1/Registration Statement.  Typically it will include some of the details about the business and offering.

For more information about the Prospectus:

Locating S-1 Registration Statements and Prospectus Filings Company Lookup

Access filings (early 1990's - to date) by company name/ticker, filing type, keyword searches, and more.
The site is the quickest way to locate the full S-1 and related filings for a U.S. public company.  Type S-1 in the Filing Type box to limit results.
You will NOT find: 20F filing by foreign companies trading on US stock exchanges and glossy Annual Reports.

IPO Statistics

Use the following resources for tracking historical and current IPO activity aggregate data.

Investment Banking Industry Conferences

What are investment banking industry conferences?

The large Wall Street Investment Banking firms frequently sponsor industry-focused conferences in Manhattan. The presenters and attendees are made up of Wall Street analysts who follow the industry and the CEOs and other top management from the industry's top public companies.

The transcripts of these presentations are timely and are rich sources of insights about industries and public company strategy, challenges, future directions, and more.

Locating Investment Banking Conference Presentation Transcripts

Company Investor Relations Website
Posts most recent 2-3 company presentations.

Conferences focused on specific industries

  • sn=fd and hd=conference and hd=industry
  • Example: sn=fd and hd=conference and hd=healthcare

Conference hosted by a specific brokerage firm (if you have this information)

  • sn=fd and hd=conference and hd=brokerage firm and hd=industry
  • Example: sn=fd and hd=conference and hd=jpmorgan and hd=energy

Presentations made by a specific company

  • sn=fd and hd=company name and hd=conference
  • Example: sn=fd and hd=pepsico and hd=conference

Presentations that mention competitors or brands 

  • sn=fd and hd=conference and (company name or brand)
  • Example: sn=fd and hd=conference and (pepsico or coca-cola or flavored water)