The $tock Market for Beginners
To track how your stocks are doing you can look them up in a newspaper, on T.V., or on the web. The stock listings are bound to look confusing at first, but with a little help, you'll know those listings like you know the back of your hand.
A typical newspaper's stock listings:
1-The small letter s next to a company's name, indicates that the stock has split within the last 52 weeks. When a stock splits, it's price per share is cut in half, and the amont of shares that there are doubles. For example, if I bought 200 shares of Gillette, at 140 dollars per share, and the stock split, I would now have 400 shares of Gillette, at 70 dollars per share. Companies do this when the price per share has gotten too expensive, or if they want more people to their stock.
2-These two columns report the high and the low , for that stock, in the last year. Notice how all prices are listed as whole numbers and fractions, instead of whole numbers and decimals. To convert a fraction to a decimal, you take the numerator (top number), and divide it by the denominator (bottom number). (ex.-1/2=.5(0), 1/3=.33..., 3/4=.75, etc.)
3-This column tells you the name of the company that is issuing the stock.
4-The small letters pf signify that this stock is a "preffered stock". Preffered stocks are common, and usually are fairly stable, so they won't lose you a lot of money, and might even give you a profit of some sort.
9-These two columns tell you how low and how high that certain stock went during that trading day.
10-This column states the price the certain stock was at the end of that trading day.
11-This column tells you how far up, or how far down your stock went, since the last trading day.
5-The "yearly divedend" tells you how much the certain company will pay you per year for each share you own. This often varies, and goes up and down with the company.
6-This column tells you the "percent yield". It gives you an idea of the stock you will be payed in dividends each year.
7-The "price earning ratio" states how many more times the price per share is, compared to the earnings per share, and is used as a speculation tool.
8-The volume column states how many shares of that company were traded during that day.
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