What are Stock Symbols &How to Read Stock Tables/Quotes
A stop quote or a stock table is the condensed presentation of all stock related
information in a brief snap shot. This stock quote is normally on an EOD basis and
is presented in newspapers. Nowadays with the advent of the internet and mobiles,
people hardly rely on newspapers but such quotes are best seen on real time basis
through internet to get a live feel of the stock markets.
What Does a Stock Quote Cover?
A stock quote is basically a combination of two important components viz. price
and volumes. While price indicates the level at which the trade was actually executed
on the stock, the volume indicates the number of shares that were traded. Volumes
can be looked at in terms of number of shares or in terms of value of the number
of shares traded. The idea of volumes is to understand whether the price trend is
sustainable or not. Normally, any price trend that is supported by volume strength
in the same direction is an indication of a sustainable trend.
Six things to know about stock quotes
Previous close price
The previous close price is the price at which the stock closed on the previous
trading day. If you are looking at the previous close price on Monday, then it refers
to the closing price as on Friday. This previous close price is important because
it offers the benchmark to calculate the returns on price in the current trading
session. It gives you a quick idea of whether the price today is higher or lower
than the previous price.
High price and low price
This is again a live update that you can get on the stock quote page, either on
the newspaper pink pages or on the website of BSE or NSE. The high price is a dynamic
price point which indicates the highest point touched during the day. The low price
is also a dynamic price point which indicates the lowest point touched during the
Opening price of the stock
The open price or the opening price of the stock is the price at which the first
trade on the stock happens. This trade happens after 9.15 at which time the normal
market begins. The opening price is normally dependent on the pre market trading
that occurs between 9 am and 9.15 am and the open price normally sets the tone of
the day based on overnight sentiments.
Last price and closing price
A lot of first time traders get confused between the last price and the closing
price of a stock. In reality they are quite different. The last price is the price
of the last and concluding trade on the stock before the market closes at 3.30.
But the last price could be a skewed price so the closing price considers the weighted
average of last 30 minutes’ price. The closing price is more representative than
the last price in terms of market sentiments.
Lower price band and upper price band
Some of you may confuse lower price band and upper price band with circuit filters.
That is not correct. For example, Reliance Industries is an F&O stock and hence
it does not have any price limits for movement, except when the index circuit filter
is hit. Here price band is normally set at a range of 10% higher and 10% lower.
The system will not accept orders outside the price band. In the case of RIL above,
the system will not accept buy orders below Rs.1135 and above Rs.1388, even if your
intention behind placing such an order is totally genuine.
52-week high and low price
This shows the range of the stock price in the last 52-week or one year as we can
call it in more simple terms. The importance of this range is that it shows whether
the stock price is really breaking above the 52-week high which is a positive signal
or if it is breaking below the 52-week low which is a negative signal.
How to interpret volumes in the stock quote page?
Volumes, as stated earlier, represent the number of shares that are traded on that
particular day. Here are 2 things to know about the volumes information…
Traded Volume of the stock
Trade volume is normally expressed in terms of number of shares. This measure is
more useful in case of higher priced shares where the number of shares traded actually
gives you a better picture of the volumes.
Value of shares traded on the stock
This measure is more relevant for smaller stocks with lower price value. In these
cases, the number of shares traded may be very high but the value may be extremely