How to read common stock quotations 

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How to read common stock quotations

Table 2–8 shows how to read common stock quotations.

Table 2-8
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:

365-Day High Low Stock Sym Div Yld., % P/E Vol, 100% Close Net Chg.
53.15 44.67 General Mills GIS 1.40 2.7 18 27645 51.95 0.08

As of July 6, 2006.

The following list describes what is in the example, from left to right across the columns:
* 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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