Stock Market Game Week in Review

For Stock Market Game teachers, here's a look at investment strategy.
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The Stock Market Game is a curriculum-based teaching tool that allows students to invest a hypothetical $100,000 online stock portfolio to learn about long-term saving and investing.

Despite the troubling pirate news off the coast of Somalia as well as the earthquake in Italy, there were some positive headlines last week regarding the economy here at home. The markets rallied last Thursday in light of news from

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

. The company announced it expects total revenue for the first quarter to grow by an estimated 16% to $20 billion. First-quarter earnings will not be reported until April 22, but the news shot the

Dow

up 246 points to close at 8,083, and the

Nasdaq

composite, and

S&P 500

also posted positive gains.

Also getting a lot of press last week was the concept of short-selling and whether or not the

Securities and Exchange Commission

will curb its practice as it is blamed by some lawmakers and executives for deepening the financial crisis and driving down share prices. The SEC voted unanimously to have a 60-day comment period on five proposals, including bringing back an "uptick rule," which allows short sales only when the last sale price is higher than the previous price. Other proposed restrictions would be triggered by a deep decline in the price of a security.

Short-selling operates on the notion that the price of a particular stock will fall. It is not recommended as a strategy for long-term saving and investing. However, because it's in the news, your students may ask about it, so here's a brief refresher: To profit from short-selling, you borrow shares of stock from a broker, sell the borrowed stock, and keep the money gained from the sale. If the price of the stock falls, as anticipated, you buy back the borrowed shares, or "short cover," at the lower price and return the number of shares you borrowed to your broker. Of course not all stocks fall in value when short sold, so the strategy can backfire if the stock value goes up rather than down when it's being shorted. When the market posts a strong rally, the risk of short-selling becomes very apparent.

The slow trickle of positive economic news returning to media reports has some on Wall Street believing the economy may be on the upswing. This would mean we've hit the trough of the business cycle. On Tuesday, April 21, 2009, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. EDT, we will host "What Goes Around: Teaching Business Cycles with SMG." Richard Anderson, certified financial planner, president and CEO of Anderson Group, will address what it means when financial analysts and reporters say "the economy is cyclical." He will also discuss what we should teach our students about the business cycle. If you're interested in participating, you can

register here

.

Learn more about the Stock Market Game here.

This article was written by a staff member of The Stock Market Game.