What is a stock ticker?

A stock ticker is a report of the price for certain securities, updated continuously throughout the trading session by the various stock exchanges. A "tick" is any change in price, whether that movement is up or down. A stock ticker automatically displays these ticks, along with other relevant information, like volume, that investors use to stay informed about current market conditions.

A limited number of stocks appear on the stock ticker during any particular period, due to the large number of stocks that are actually trading at the same time. Often, the stocks that have the greatest change in price from the previous day's trading session, or those that are trading under the highest volume appear on the stock ticker.

You may have seen a stock ticker scrolling by at the bottom of any financial news networks on television. The ticker provides current information for certain stocks, including: the ticker symbol (the one to four letter code that represents a particular stock); quantity traded (volume for each transaction); price, a green "up" arrow if price is higher than the previous day's closing value, a red "down" arrow if price is lower than the previous day; and the net price change (either as a dollar amount or as a percentage) from the previous day's close. If the price is unchanged, the arrow may be gray in color or simply absent. Often, the ticker symbol and the net price change appear color-coded: green if the price is higher than the previous session, red if price is lower.

Many of today's fully-electronic stock tickers display market data in real-time or with a small delay. You can watch stock tickers on a variety of financial news networks, and many trading platforms allow you to customize and view stock tickers that can be displayed at the bottom of your computer monitor.


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