Equities are the value of assets that traders have at their disposal. An equity market, also known a stock market, is the place where investors meet to buy and sell stocks. Equity markets can be privately held stocks dealt via dealers on over-the-counter (OTC) markets, or can be publicly traded stocks, on regulated exchanges such as NASDAQ, New York Stock Exchange, and the Dow Jones in the United States, or stock exchanges in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, such as the London Stock Exchange, IBEX (Spain), Hang Seng Hong Kong), and Tadawul (Saudi Arabia). Most developed countries in the world have stock exchanges. Stock exchanges are heavily regulated, as opposed to the unregulated OTC markets.
Besides the obvious fact that it is on equity markets that traders can keep track of how various stocks are performing, the markets are also an excellent trading asset in and of themselves. CFD trading on stock markets is especially popular, as traders determine how they believe an equity market will behave within a determined trading period.