The latest business news around the world. Written by Market Business News's very own editorial team to deliver reliable, up to date, and honest news.

Financial Glossary – D


Database Marketing – a method of obtaining and analyzing a large amount of information about a company’s customer base. The aim is to then for businesses to tailor their marketing plans and sales decisions.

Dark Pools – trades that are secret and not available for the public to see. Some stocks are traded in dark pools, exchanges hidden from the public eye, as opposed to normal public stock exchanges, such as NYSE or NASDAQ.

Debt – refers either to money (or a physical thing) owed to the lender, or gratitude, as in being forever in debt to somebody who saved your life. The party receiving the debt is known as the borrower or debtor. Some economists say levels of debt globally are far too high, and predict another debt crisis will strike soon and spread rapidly across the world.

Debt Ceiling –  also known as the debt limit or statutory debt limit, a debt ceiling is the maximum amount of money the U.S. Treasury is allowed to borrow. This limit is set by the US Congress.

Debt Equity Ratio – a measure of the relationship between capital that came from creditors and capital that originated from shareholders. It is a calculation that reveals the relative proportion of stockholders’ equity and debt used to finance a business’ assets. Also called debt-to-equity ratio or D/E ratio.

Debt Ratio – a calculation that shows us what proportion of a company’s or individual’s assets consists of debt. It reveals the extent of a business’ (or person’s) leverage. At national level, the term may also refer to the ratio of government debt to GDP.

Debt Service Coverage Ratio – also known as DSCR or debt coverage ratio, is the ratio of available cash for debt servicing to interest, principal and lease payments. In government finance, it refers to the amount of export earnings required to meet a country’s external debt obligations. Banks look carefully at a loan applicant’s DSCR when deciding whether to lend money.

Defensive Shares – stocks that fluctuate much less severely when the economy does very well or badly. They belong to companies that provide products and services people need all the time, regardless of their financial situation, such as electricity, natural gas, water and essential foods. Also known as non-cyclical stocks or defensive stocks.

Deflation – when the price of goods and services decreases (it is the opposite of inflation).

Demand – an economics term that refers to a measure of desire to have or own a good or service, or all goods and services when talking nationally. It is the opposite of supply. When prices rise, demand declines, but when prices go down demand increases. Market economies rely on the forces of supply and demand, which regulate prices, rather than a central authority, like in a command economy.

Demand Loan – a loan with no maturity date or payment schedule. The lender can ask for full payment of the remaining debt at any time. Also known as a demand note, call loan or broker loan.

Demography – the study of human populations and the factors that make them change, such as births, deaths and migration. A demography specialist is called a demographer. He or she studies populations and the people within them.

Depreciation – when assets decline in value over time. It is also an income tax deduction that enables a taxpayer to recover the cost of certain assets.

Derivative – a contract between two or more parties that is derived from or based on a specified asset. The parties involved in the derivative decide what that asset will be. Most common derivatives are based on the value of commodities, currencies, stocks, bonds, real estate or interest rates. There are several types of derivatives, including futures, forwards, options and swaps.

Development Economics – the study of how low-income and emerging economies become more developed, i.e. countries that are changing from being agricultural economies to industrial ones. Also known as Economics for Development.

Diluted Share – a share in a company after it has issued additional shares. Ownership, voting rights, earnings per share and possibly its value are ‘diluted’, just like concentrated syrup is if you add water.

Discount Loan – with this type of loan the lender discounts interest and other charges first from the face value, before lending to the borrower. Only used for short-term loans.

Discount Rate – has several meanings: 1. The interest rate a central bank charges commercial banks for very-short term loans. 2. The interest rate used in discounted cash flow analysis. 3. A reduction in the value of an invoice if the client pays before a certain date, or buys more than a minimum amount. 4. The discount on a bill of exchange or draft if it is cashed in before its maturity date.

Diversification – refers to spreading out into new fields, sectors or geographical areas so that risk not concentrated in one area. If one sector experiences a decline, the company has other activities which continues doing well. Diversification follows the idiom ‘Do not place all of your eggs in one basket.” Many large companies today, however, say that specialization is the future, not diversification.

Dividend Payout Ratio – the proportion of a business’ profit that is paid out as dividends to stockholders over a specified period. The ratio can be expressed as a decimal or percentage.

Dividend Price Ratio – a calculation that shows a stock’s dividend as a percentage of its price. It can alternatively be calculated by dividing a company’s total dividend payments in one year by its market capitalization. Also known as dividend yield.

Domestic Market – where goods and services are traded within the borders of where a company is based. For example, Ford’s domestic market is the US market, while Renault’s domestic market is the French market. Also known as the home market or internal market.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) – commonly known as “the Dow,” this is an index that represents the weighted average of the 30 major stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange or the NASDAQ Stock Market.

Downsizing – refers to the reduction in the size and of operating costs of a company. In most cases, this involves reducing the workforce.

Due Diligence – a comprehensive check of the operational and financial status of any company, individual or entity you plan to come to a business arrangement with. Put simply, it means carrying out research to make sure the other party is reliable, honest, and will stick to their side of the agreement.

Dumping – this refers to companies exporting products at a lower price than their domestic price or the cost of production.