Are you new to investing? Before you invest a single dollar, you must first learn to read stock market quotes so that you will understand how shares are traded. Whether you plan to buy stocks online, from a traditional broker, or through a direct stock purchase plan – learning how to read stock market quotes is an essential part of investing.
How to Read Stock Market Quotes
Here is a list of common terms that should help you better understand how to read stock market quotes.
- Last Tick – The price per share of the most recent trade of a stock. Depending on where you are looking, you may be seeing real-time market quotes or quotes that can be delayed up to 20 minutes.
- Change – The change in a stock market quote refers to how much the security is up or down for the day. This is usually reported in both monetary (dollars and cents) and percentage units for the day.
- Bid – The current price at which an investor is willing to purchase one share of stock in a company.
- Ask – The current price an investor is willing to sell one share of stock in a company.
- Open – Price per share that represents the first trade of the day in a company.
- Volume – The number of shares that have been traded in a company for a given period of time (i.e. day, month, etc.).
- Day High – The highest price per share traded that day for a particular company.
- Day Low – The lowest price per share traded that day for a particular company.
- Previous Close – The closing price of the previous day.
All of the terms listed above are common factors that make up stock market quotes. Understanding these terms and characteristics of every investment is an important part of having success in the stock market. Before you invest any of your hard earned income, you should educate yourself so that you will be prepared for what the stock market gives you. Why waste your money when you don’t understand the basics?