How to read common stock quotations
Table 2–8 shows how to read common stock quotations.
How to Read Common Stock Quotations
The format for reading stock price quotations is much the same for stocks listed on
the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the American Stock Exchange (AMEX),
and the Nasdaq. The amount of company information listed varies somewhat; the
listing of NYSE companies is the most comprehensive. Market prices of listed
stocks are quoted daily in the financial pages of major newspapers. For example,
a typical listing of a common stock from the financial pages looks like this:
As of July 6, 2006.
The following list describes what is in the example, from left to right across the
* The “High” and “Low” columns indicate the yearly range of trading of the stock. General
Mills traded at a 365-day high of $53.15 per share and a low of $44.67 per share.
* The “Stock” column shows the name of the stock, General Mills Company, and the
“Sym” column shows that its trading symbol is GIS.
* The “Div” column indicates the amount of the annual dividend, $1.40 per share.
A corporation might, from time to time, change the amount of dividends it pays
based on its last quarterly or semiannual dividend payment.
* The “Yld” column is the dividend yield for General Mills, which is 2.7 percent. You
can calculate the yield by dividing the expected dividend by the last, or closing,
price of the stock (1.40/51.95).
* The “P/E” column is the price-earnings ratio and indicates the price investors are
willing to pay for a stock in relation to the stock’s earnings. In this example,
investors buying the stock at $51.95 are willing to pay 18 times General Mills’
earnings. High P/E ratios indicate that buyers are willing to pay more for a dollar of
earnings than for low P/E ratio stocks.
* The “Vol” column indicates the number of shares traded for that day. In this case,
2,764,500 shares of General Mills were traded that day. By following the average
daily volume, you can tell if any unusually heavy trading activity has taken place
on a particular day.
* The “Close” column indicates the closing price of the stock for that day. General
Mills closed at $51.95 per share.
* The last column, “Net Chg,” shows the change in price from the preceding day.
In this case, General Mills closed up $0.08 from the preceding day’s close.
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