WSJ Glossary

Private companies are flooding to Special Interest Acquisition Companies, or SPACs, to bypass the traditional IPO process and gain a public listing. WSJ explains why some critics say investing in these so-called blank-check companies isn’t worth the risk. Illustration: Zoë Soriano/WSJ

WSJ Glossary

Markets and economics are complex. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by a sea of wonky indicators and lose track of why they matter. This series breaks down the basic terms and ideas that move the markets.

Up Next in WSJ Glossary

  • How PMIs Signal Early Warnings for the Economy

    In 2018 and 2019 during the U.S.-China trade war, investors and policy makers embraced global manufacturing PMIs as a leading barometer of economic health. WSJ explains how purchasing managers can offer an early look at the direction of the economy.

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  • Cash Is Back. Here’s Why

    Cash is often viewed as a safe, but boring investment. But lately, it’s looking shinier than it has in a while. WSJ explains why investors are piling trillions into money market accounts, even as stocks reach new highs.

  • The Debate Over Share Buybacks, Explained

    Companies on the S&P 500 have poured more than $5.3 trillion into repurchasing their own shares since 2010. WSJ explains how stock buybacks work, and why there’s debate over whether or not they’re good for the economy.