There is no government body or individual entity, outside of the Federal Reserve, that controls stock market prices; however, there are market forces that move prices up or down, explains MarketWatch. Three forces that move stock market prices include market sentiment, technical factors and fundamental factors.
Market sentiment defines the psychology of investors and how they feel about individual stocks, the overall markets or the current state of the economy on a personal level, notes Investopedia. Market sentiment is primarily subjective and open to interpretation due to the psychology behind the projections. Technical factors that move stock prices include inflation, the strength of the economy and a company’s liquidity. Fundamental factors include a company’s earnings per share, known as EPS, of every share of stock outstanding or the price-to-earnings ratio, known as the P/E ratio.
Major stock markets such as the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq can halt trading on stocks, which does influence the price of stocks, according to Investopedia. Many times the NYSE or Nasdaq halt trading on stocks if they suspect unusual trading activity. The halt allows investors to make appropriate buy or sell decisions while they wait for any news from the issuing company. Most halts last 30 minutes before regular trading resumes.