Stock Information Basics

Here we won’t try to teach you how to pick a stock, but rather explain what are all the data associated with a stock quote from a major news outlet. Some sites provide varying information, but these main categories should exist in almost all of them:

Example Company

(NYSE: XX) The first potion is the stock exchange on which the company trades. In this case, the New York Stock Exchange. “XX” is known as the “ticker”… or the symbol under which the company trades. You will use this symbol whenever you want to buy or sell shares of Example Company. Every stock on an exchange has their own unique “ticker”.

Last Trade:60.07The price where the shares last exchanged hands from seller to buyer
Trade Time:2:53PM EDTWhen the last trade occurred. U.S. stock markets are open from 9:30 to 4:00 EST weekdays excluding certain holidays
Change:0.68 (1.12%)Where the shares last traded compared to where they closed trading yesterday
Prev Close:60.75Where shares stopped trading during the previous trading session
Open:60.55Where shares began trading at the beginning of this session. Prices can move when markets are not open due to trading on other exchanges and “after hours” trading
Bid:60.07 x 200Bid refers to buy – and this is where someone is offering to buy shares. They want to buy 200 shares at $60.07 each
Ask:60.08 x 5200Ask refers to sell – and this is where a seller is offering to sell 5,200 shares at $60.08 each. When the bid and ask prices meet, a trade takes place. A highly liquid, or frequently traded stock like XX will have a very narrow spread between the bid and ask price
Day’s Range:59.85 – 60.63This shows the range in prices the shares have traded at in this trading session
52wk Range:39.37 – 64.58These are the low/high closing prices of the stock in the past year
Volume:5,624,800Volume refers to how many shares have traded in this session. Over 5.6 million!
Avg Vol (3m):14,277,100However 5.6 million is low compared to the 14.3 million shares of this stock that normally trade each day based on the average of the last three months
Market Cap:170.48BMarket capitalization (market cap) is a frequently used term to tell the value of the company. It takes total shares outstanding and multiplies that by the current share price. Combined, all stock shares at this date were currently collectively worth over $170 billion!
P/E (ttm):14.61P/E is a common ratio that describes the value of a share of stock. It divides the current price of the stock by how much money the company earned per share over the last twelve months. This ratio can also be stated based on the expected earnings over the next twelve months (showing the value of a share while factoring in next year’s expected earnings growth). “ttm” here suggests trailing twelve months, so it is based on what the company earned last year.
EPS (ttm):4.11Earnings per share – all the money the company made last year divided by how many shares of stock currently exist
Div & Yield:1.93 (3.20%)This shows the dividends paid per each share of stock to shareholders. The yield takes this annual dividend amount ($1.93) and divides that by the current price of the stock ($60). Dividends here are quoted as the annual total while they are paid each quarter (every three months) … so each shareholder gets $0.4825 per each share they own every three months. Dividends are subject to change at any time – up or down – but in healthy economies, they will generally rise slowly.