Examples of speculation in a Sentence
He dismissed their theories as mere speculation.
The book is just a lot of idle speculation about the future.
Her speculations leave many questions unanswered.
He lost everything in foolish land speculation.
Recent Examples of speculation from the Web
There’s been a lot of speculation in the media about this.
His actions have shaken commodity markets at a time when speculation in futures is near the record heights of 2012, making markets even more volatile (see chart).
Yesterday, Prince William made a comment that lead to much speculation over another name.
The previous county record was $100 million, which was hit twice in 2016: for the sale of the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, and for a mega-mansion built on speculation in the same neighborhood.
The next project for Mayer, who was an early employee at Google (googl, -0.39%) and worked there until leaving to run Yahoo in 2012, had been a matter of considerable speculation in Silicon Valley.
In 1996, Peter Glynn, a coral scientist at the University of Miami, launched the speculation in a paper on the causes of bleaching.
On the heels of Ryan's bombshell, Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., announced he, too, will not run for reelection, setting off a flurry of questions and speculation in Washington about who might be next.
But Scalise also expressed interest in leading the conference someday — remarks that only intensified simmering speculation in GOP circles about his intentions.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'speculation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Financial Definition of SPECULATION
What It Is
How It Works
Technically, anyone who buys or shorts a security with the expectation of a favorable price change is a speculator. For example, if a speculator believes XYZ Company stock is overpriced, they may short the stock, wait for the price to fall, and make a profit. It's possible to speculate on virtually every security, though speculation is especially concentrated in the commodities, futures, and derivatives markets.
But to really understand speculation, one must understand how it differs from hedging. Let's consider an example: let's assume part of your investment portfolio includes shares of Company XYZ, which manufactures autos. Because the auto industry is cyclical, Company XYZ shares will probably decline if the economy starts to deteriorate.
If you want to protect this investment -- that is, you want to hedge your investment -- one way to do that is to buy defensive stocks. You may choose "noncyclicals," or companies that sell basic necessities like toothpaste or toilet paper. During economic slumps, these stocks tend to hold or increase their value, which could offset the loss in value of the XYZ shares.
A speculator wouldn't follow this strategy. If a speculator purchased food-company stocks, he would do so because he simply believes the stock is going to increase.
Speculation can increase short-term volatility (and thus, risk). It can inflate prices and lead to bubbles, as was the case in the 2005-2006 real estate market in the United States. Speculators who were betting that home prices would continue to increase purchased houses (often using leverage) intending to "flip" them for a profit. This increased the demand for housing, which raised prices further, eventually taking them beyond the "true value" of the real estate in many markets. The frenzied selling that ensued is typical for speculative markets.
Why It Matters
Some people may see speculators as dangerous gamblers, but speculators actually provide much-needed liquidity to markets and are thus a vital component of market efficiency. Without them, many commodities markets, for example, would virtually grind to a halt because the only participants would be farmers and food companies. With fewer participants in a market, bid-ask spreads would widen and it would be much harder for buyers and sellers to find each other. The resulting illiquidity would dramatically increase the risk in that market.
SPECULATION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of speculation for English Language Learners
: ideas or guesses about something that is not known
: activity in which someone buys and sells things (such as stocks or pieces of property) in the hope of making a large profit but with the risk of a large loss
SPECULATION Defined for Kids
legal Definition of speculation
Learn More about speculation
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