Individual Stocks

Understanding Financial Markets

What is the Conference Board, and why is it so important to the understanding of financial markets?

The Conference Board, a non-profit organization that releases authoritative research and reports on the state of our economy, began in 1916 as the National Industrial Conference Board. It is composed of members—often high-level managers of many of the largest corporations, as well as researchers, analysts, and writers—who regularly release statistics and analysis about the health of our economy. Often, Conference Board reports are indicative—and perhaps to many, predictive—as to where the economy is heading. It is thought to be one of the most important generators of economic reports and analysis, publishing such reports as the U.S. Consumer Confidence Index, Leading Economic Indexes, Employment Trends Index, Help Wanted OnLine, and the CEO Confidence Survey. It is widely followed by the investment community, and—depending on how the Conference Board report is interpreted—may have a profound effect on investing behavior in the short term.


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