G. Stock Ticker and Tables
One way to get a stock quote during the day is to look at a stock ticker on the Internet.
The ticker is a telegraphic system that provides the last sale prices and volume of securities transactions on exchanges. It is continually updated and lists the price at which the most recent trade took place in that stock.
Investors can download a stock tape to run continuously on their computers while connected to the Internet. Alternatively, many web sites have tickers.
To get more information than just the price, use the symbol lookup or listed company directory on nyse.com. Type in the company's name and information about the stock, including its current price and past performance, will be returned. The same information can be obtained by typing in the company's stock symbol. Every company that is traded on a securities market is assigned a unique stock symbol.
Nyse.com and other financial sites can also be used to track news stories, examine performance graphs, and get other information about a stock and its company.
Basic stock information is available in the stock tables in the business section of the newspaper.
Stock tables break down what is happening at each company listed on the stock exchanges, including stocks, bonds, money market funds, and mutual funds.
Here is a sample stock table for a fictitious company called Future Comm.
52-weeks Hi/Lo. The highest and lowest prices paid for Future Comm stock during the past year. Knowing the past year's high and low can help an investor evaluate a stock's current price.
Stock. The name of the company.
Sym. The stock's trading symbol. Every stock that is traded on a securities market is assigned a symbol. Some newspapers do not provide the stock's trading symbol but instead provide an abbreviation of the company's name.
Div. Short for dividend. For each share of stock owned, a Future Comm shareholder should receive 44 cents from the company's annual profits. Payment is usually made on a quarterly basis.
Yld. The yield, or the rate of return, on a stockholder's investment. It is calculated by dividing the annual dividend by the current price of the stock. Future Comm stockholders earn .6 percent of today's stock price from dividends.
PE. Short for price/earnings ratio. The price of a share of stock divided by the company's earnings per share for the last year.
Vol 100s. The total amount of stock traded during the previous day. On that day, 10,092,700 shares of Future Comm stock changed hands. The number does not include “odd lots,” which are sales of less than 100 shares.
Close. The last price paid for this stock at the end of the previous day was $96.47.
Net Chg. The last price on the previous day, $96.47, was 12 cents less than the last price on the preceding day.
In addition to the standard abbreviations, stock tables often include other symbols indicating a variety of factors, such as stock splits, dividend changes, first day of trading, new 52-week hi or lo, warrants, and many other relevant conditions.