Here is the link to the Stock Market Game for Ohio:

http://www.smgohio.org/

Since our class lasts for a semester, we have to play the shorter game - which starts October 10th. That gives us some time to prepare. We can add more resources to this page as the year continues.

http://www.marketwatch.com/game/macroeconomic

This link will take you to a page on market watch. This is a 28 day practice until we play the real stock market game. Everyone will be on your own and will have $100,000.00. Sign up to market watch is required. On the occupation, income, industry, and company size put other or not applicable. Make your birth year random.

Most of you have been using MarketWatch.com but that gives you limited information. You can also motly fool at Fool.com also you can use what I use is morning star.com

Articles about stocks:
http://money.msn.com/investment-advice/the-10-best-stocks-in-the-world-1
http://money.msn.com/
http://money.msn.com/top-stocks/
http://screen.morningstar.com/Movers/StMovPct.html?SelectView=1

Info on our 2011-2012 Stock Market Game:

03/02/2012

Dear Teachers and Stock Market Game Participants:

It's been a choppy week on Wall Street. Going into today’s trading, the Dow was down two points from last week's close, but it hit 13,000 on Tuesday for the first time since May 2008. While the 13,000 level is not considered technically significant, it is a psychological milestone.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke also headed to Capitol Hill this week to give Congress his semi-annual report on the economy, and what he had to say wasn't exactly rosy. The job market remains "far from normal," household income is flat and access to credit remains too tight for many people, he said. Meanwhile, rising gas prices are likely to reduce consumer buying power and the housing market remains a drag.

In Europe, efforts continue to bring the continent's debt crisis under control. At the end of a two-day meeting in Brussels, 25 of the 27 leaders in the European Union signed a so-called fiscal compact designed to prevent a future crisis by strengthening budget discipline. The fiscal pact includes a "balanced budget rule" that requires governments to keep deficits below 0.5% of gross domestic product. Those that break the rule will be subject to an "automatic correction mechanism," which has yet to be defined. The goal is to prevent a future crisis and foster economic growth by ensuring that governments do not spend beyond their means and rack up unsustainable debts, said European Council president Herman Van Rompuy at a signing ceremony.

To follow up last week’s Week in Review newsletter regarding IPOs, your students are probably familiar with Yelp, the online reviewer of restaurants, salons, and other businesses. Yelp officially went public yesterday and raised $107.25 million while their $15/share price set their company valuation at nearly $900 million. Its shares start trading today on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “YELP.” See them ringing today’s opening bell on the NYSE here. In terms of The Stock Market Game program, students should be able to start trading Yelp in the next week.

Another company that has been in the news quite frequently as of late and of which your students are probably fans is Zynga (ZNGA). Its shares are on the move after the online game developer announced a new online platform, www.zynga.com, which will allow users to play Zynga’s games like FarmVille and Words With Friends on its site and reduce the company’s dependence on Facebook.

And finally, happy birthday to Dr. Suess who would have been 108 years old today. What better way to celebrate his birthday than reading to a child. The NEA’s Read Across America campaign celebration’s theme this year is being green and showcases Dr. Suess’ The Lorax. The SIFMA Foundation also exposes SMG students to “green” investing through its project “Going Green” in the Teacher Support Center. This project introduces students to the concept of “environmentally responsible investing” through activities based on The Lorax. Students will examine how companies balance their need for raw material with their need to manage those same resources to insure future availability and supply. It is accessible in the “Projects” section of the Teacher Support Center.

Have a great weekend!
Best regards,

Elizabeth Reidel
SMG Director

02/24/2012

Dear Teachers and Stock Market Game Participants:
Welcome to the first edition of the Spring 2012 SMG Week in Review! The goal of this weekly newsletter is to tie current economic news to the SMG program and highlight helpful SMG curriculum materials. Basic economic principles will also be discussed that may be helpful to both you and your students as you participate in the program. Be on the lookout for the SMG Week in Review in your inbox each Friday afternoon over the next ten weeks.

While news of Linsanity and the continued financial troubles in Europe have dominated the headlines over the past month, your students may be familiar with the IPO news about Facebook, the social networking site. The company filed for an initial public offering on February 1st that could value the company between $75 and $100 billion, putting it on track for one of the biggest US stock market debuts of all time. This makes Google’s valuation of $23 billion in 2004 seem like chump change. Facebook would truly be in a league of its own as only Visa Inc., General Motors Co. and AT&T Wireless have had larger valuations than $10 billion. Potential buyers got their first look at its financials Wednesday, which showed the company produced a $1 billion profit last year from $3.71 billion in revenues. The company derives 85% of those revenues from advertising, with the rest from social gaming and other fees.
One person who is set to make a fortune overnight from the IPO is David Choe, a graffiti artist who opted for stock options instead of payment in 2005 for covering the walls of the Facebook headquarters with spray-painted murals. He stands to make around $200 million when the company officially goes public in May. Check out an interesting NY Times feature on Choe here.

To help better explain the current events related to Facebook, it’s important for your SMG students to know the basics about an initial public offering (IPO). One reason a company may decide to “go public” is because their product or service is in great demand, demand may outstrip the ability of banks and venture capitalists (who privately supply funding) to provide money for the company’s expansion to meet that demand.

Company management goes to investment bankers to negotiate an agreement to underwrite a stock offering known as an IPO (Initial Public Offering). The investment bankers buy all the shares that will be offered to the public at a set price (primary market). In other words, they underwrite the IPO. The investment bankers then sell the stock to the general public (secondary market) in the hopes of making a profit.

In addition to finding underwriters, company management must register its stock with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) before “going public.” Generally, companies can offer two types of stock, common and preferred. Common stock entitles the owners (called stockholders or shareholders) to collect dividends, if the company declares them. It also entitles the owners to vote in company elections and decisions. Stockholders who purchase common stock share in most of a company’s profits and losses.

Stockholders who purchase preferred stock are usually guaranteed a dividend payment. This payment is made before any payments to common stock holders. If a company fails, preferred stock holders are repaid before common stock holders. Preferred stock holders do not share in most of a company’s profits or losses. Preferred stock holders also do not have any voting rights.

An important difference between common stock and preferred stock is that the price of the preferred stock tends to be more stable, changing little over time, than that of common stock.

To review the IPO concept with your students, please be sure to check out the “Happy IPO” and “Sweet Stock” editions of the Stocktalk newsletter. Both issues explain what an IPO is and how the stock market helps companies raise money for their growth. You can find both editions in the “Publications” section of the Teacher Support Center.

10/28/2011
It seems as though Wall Street received its Halloween sugar high a bit early this week as the markets surged on Thursday helping to put the S&P 500 on track for its largest-ever monthly gain since 1974. The rally was due in large part to news that European leaders finally mapped out a plan to help solve the debt crisis. The plan involves increasing the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) which many are referring to as the “bailout fund”, from $600 billion to $1.4 trillion and will be used to help create a “firewall” around the European Union’s troubled countries such as Greece, Space, and Italy. The plan also includes a 50 percent write-down on Greek government debt and agreements on plans to recapitalize the region’s banks - requiring them to hold more high-quality assets as a shield against potential losses. But much like a student who has eaten too much candy, the markets have turned sluggish today as economists are already raising questions about the effectiveness of the plan.
As your students get more involved with their SMG trading, daily rankings are examined closely. In many SMG states, the rankings are based on a team’s performance against the S&P 500. And like your students watching their rankings, in the real markets, professionals track benchmarks to get a sense of how the market is performing.
A benchmark is an index, average, or other measure, whose movements serve as a standard, or basis of comparison, for evaluating the performance of the overall market. Investors use benchmarks as a gauge against which they set their market expectations, and judge the performance of individual securities, market industries and sectors, and the performance of different portfolios. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (the DJIA or the "Dow") and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock Index (the S&P 500) both track the performance of large-cap stocks and are the most widely followed benchmarks of the U.S. stock market.
Your students are probably familiar with the Dow as its fluctuations are discussed daily on the news. But what does the Dow represent? It’s used as a sort of proxy for the overall health of the market and tracks the performance of 30 blue chip US stocks. Though it is called an average, it actually functions more like an index. The DJIA is quoted in points, not dollars. It’s computed by totaling the weighted prices of the 30 stocks and dividing by a number regularly adjusted for stock splits, spin-offs, and other changes in the stocks being tracked. Many analysts are critical of the Dow since it contains just 30 companies selected by the editors of The Wall Street Journal. Most feel the S&P 500, which tracks 500 major American companies, offers a more accurate gauge of the overall market.
For more information about the Dow and the S&P 500, be sure to visit Yahoo Finance. Select an index (left side of the page). To find the names of the companies that make up each index, click “Components” on the left side of the page. To find out whether the indices were up or down last week, last year, or five years ago, click “Basic Chart” on the left column. By clicking “Historical Prices”, students can also find out what the indices were on the day they were born. How many points have the indices increased since then? And if they invested $10.00 on that date in an S&P Index fund or a Dow Index Fund, how much would they have today?
Now is also the time get your students involved in our national essay competition, InvestWrite. The InvestWrite website contains all of the information you need to participate in the program. You will find the current essay questions and guidelines for submitting essays along with all of the great prizes and recognition!
You can also view the essays selected as the first place winners in the Spring 2011 competition and read a little bit about the winning teachers and students in the section “InvestWrite News and Announcements.”
Have a great weekend and a Happy Halloween! For some ideas on how to bring Halloween into the classroom, be sure to check out the New York Times Learning Network, teaching topic: Halloween.