In the following video, Motley Fool analyst Austin Smith answers a question from a Fool.com reader, who asks: "When analyzing the stock market, what are some points to look for, and basic stocks to keep your eye on in order to get the information you really need before you start investing?"

Austin Smith owns shares of General Electric Company and Waste Management. The Motley Fool recommends Waste Management. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric Company and Waste Management. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.