Loading the player...

What is 'Bid And Asked'

A two-way price quotation that indicates the best price at which a security can be sold and bought at a given point in time.The bid price represents the maximum price that a buyer or buyers are willing to pay for a security. The ask price represents the minimum price that a seller or sellers are willing to receive for the security. A trade or transaction occurs when the buyer and seller agree on a price for the security.

The difference between the bid and asked prices, or the spread, is a key indicator of the liquidity of the asset - generally speaking, the smaller the spread, the better the liquidity.

Also known as bid and ask, bid-ask or bid-offer.

BREAKING DOWN 'Bid And Asked'

The average investor has to contend with the bid and asked spread as an implied cost of trading. For example, if the current price quotation for security A is $10.50 / $10.55, investor X who is looking to buy A at the current market price would pay $10.55, while investor Y who wishes to sell A at the current market price would receive $10.50.

The bid-ask spread works to the advantage of the market maker. Continuing with the above example, a market maker who is quoting a price of $10.50 / $10.55 for security A is indicating a willingness to buy A at $10.50 (the bid price) and sell it at $10.55 (the asked price). The spread represents the market maker's profit.

Bid-ask spreads can vary widely depending on the security and the market. The blue-chips that constitute the Dow Jones Industrial Average may have a bid-ask spread of a few cents, while a small-cap stock may have a bid-ask spread of 50 cents or more. On a percentage basis, the difference between the bid and asked prices of the former may be much smaller than that of the latter.

The bid-ask spread can widen dramatically during periods of illiquidity or market turmoil, since traders will not be willing to pay a price beyond a certain threshold while sellers may not be willing to accept prices below a certain level.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Bid-Ask Spread

    The amount by which the ask price exceeds the bid. This is essentially ...
  2. Bid

    1. An offer made by an investor, a trader or a dealer to buy ...
  3. Ask

    The price a seller is willing to accept for a security, also ...
  4. Spread Indicator

    An indicator that shows the difference between the bid and ask ...
  5. Two-Way Quote

    A type of quote that gives both the bid and the ask price of ...
  6. Bid Price

    The price a buyer is willing to pay for a security. This is one ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    What Does Bid And Asked Mean?

    Bid and asked is a two-way price quotation.
  2. Investing

    How To Calculate The Bid-Ask Spread

    It's very important for every investor to learn how to calculate the bid-ask spread and factor this figure when making investment decisions.
  3. Investing

    Negotiating the Bid

    A bid is an offer investors make to buy a security.
  4. Investing

    How Bid Price Affects Liquidity

    The bid price is the amount a buyer will pay for a security.
  5. Trading

    The Basics Of The Bid-Ask Spread

    The bid-ask spread is essentially a negotiation in progress. To be successful, traders must be willing to take a stand and walk away in the bid-ask process through limit orders.
  6. Investing

    Understanding Liquidity Risk

    Learn about the two types of liquidity risk: funding liquidity risk and market liquidity risk.
  7. Investing

    What is Spread?

    Spread has several slightly different meanings depending on the context. Generally, spread refers to the difference between two comparable measures.
  8. Trading

    Why Financial Spread Betting Gets a Bad Rap

    Spread betting lets speculators trade on price movements. Investors predict whether the spread between the bid price and the ask price will rise or fall.
  9. Investing

    Penny Stocks

    Learn more about this cheap stock and how its high risk nature, large bid-ask spreads and lack of liquidity may not make it the most wise investment.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What does the variance between the bid and ask price of a stock mean?

    Find out how stocks are traded in the market, why the bid and ask prices are different and why the bid-ask spread is smallest ... Read Answer >>
  2. What are the determinants of a stock's bid-ask spread?

    Stock exchanges are set up to assist brokers and other specialists in coordinating bid and ask prices. The bid price is the ... Read Answer >>
  3. What's the difference between bid-ask spread and bid-ask bounce?

    Understand the difference between the bid-ask spread that determines the buy or sell price for a stock and a bid-ask bounce, ... Read Answer >>
  4. What types of stocks have a large difference between bid and ask prices?

    Find out which factors influence bid-ask spread width. Learn why some stocks have large spreads between bid and ask prices, ... Read Answer >>
  5. How do I use the bid-ask spread to evaluate whether I should buy a particular stock?

    Understand the significance of the bid-ask spread for investors in making a decision on whether or not to purchase a particular ... Read Answer >>
  6. What types of stocks have a small difference between bid and ask prices?

    Learn more about bid-ask spreads and why stocks with high levels of liquidity and low levels of volatility usually have narrow ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Graduate Record Examination - GRE

    A standardized exam used to measure one's aptitude for abstract thinking in the areas of analytical writing, mathematics ...
  2. Graduate Management Admission Test - GMAT

    A standardized test intended to measure a test taker's aptitude in mathematics and the English language. The GMAT is most ...
  3. Magna Cum Laude

    An academic level of distinction used by educational institutions to signify an academic degree which was received "with ...
  4. Cover Letter

    A written document submitted with a job application explaining the applicant's credentials and interest in the open position. ...
  5. 403(b) Plan

    A retirement plan for certain employees of public schools, tax-exempt organizations and certain ministers. Generally, retirement ...
  6. Master Of Business Administration - MBA

    A graduate degree achieved at a university or college that provides theoretical and practical training to help graduates ...
Trading Center