A superior survey of capital and futures markets--to help seasoned as well as novice investors make better sense of today's proliferating economic and financial reports. Eschewing such safety-first havens as eD's and mutual funds, Krefetz (The Smart Investor's Guide, 1982) examines the basics of equity (common or preferred stock) and debt (bonds) in light of holder-concerns. Relating balance-sheet and income-statement entries to reality, he points out--for instance--that publicly held companies whose returns on equity run below 10 percent are making below-average use of their assets. Also reviewed are exchange-listed options (which the smart-money crowd sells rather than buys to enhance portfolio returns), commodity contracts (of value to the economy as price-discovery mechanisms), metals (strategic as well as precious), and fledgling vehicles like stock index futures (gaining acceptance not only with speculators but also from professional money managers seeking to hedge their equity holdings). The marketplace apart, Krefetz takes fairly straightforward note of the role of the Federal Reserve System and the importance of the discount rate. With useful briefings on offshore exchanges, securities analysis, key economic indicators, and intelligence sources--plus a rundown on data bases for owners of personal computers: an excellent introduction for rookies and refresher course for veterans.