Stock quotes generally consist of many data points. These data points remain the same for many exchange-traded securities such as stocks and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). For investors, understanding these key data points can be critical. The different components of a stock quote can provide deep insight into a company.
Security name: This is the name of the company or organization offering the stock.
Ticker symbol: This is a series of unique letters or numbers assigned to the stock which are used to identify it.
Bid: This indicates the highest price a buyer is willing to pay for one share of the stock.
Ask: This indicates the lowest price a seller is currently willing to accept in exchange for one share of the stock.
Volume: This is the total number of shares of the stock that have traded hands on a given day. While some stocks may trade thousands or millions of shares a day, others may only trade a few hundred shares or less.
Bid-ask spread: This is the difference between a stock's bid and ask price. The lower the spread, the higher the demand and the more liquid it is. Conversely, the higher the spread, the lesser the demand.
Lot: This is the total number of shares that are available for trading at both the ask and the bid price. The standard lot size is 100 shares, but they can be traded in any number of shares.
Last trade price: This is the price at which the last trade was executed. Investors often compare the last trade price to the closing price from the previous session.
Open: The first trade price that is recorded during the day’s trading is known as the opening price. To help quantify the stock's movement, it is generally used in relation to the current price or the closing price.