What is a 'Stock Symbol'

A stock symbol is a unique series of letters assigned to a security for trading purposes. NYSE and AMEX listed stocks have three characters or less. Nasdaq-listed securities have four or five characters. If a fifth letter appears, it identifies the security as other than a single issue of common stock. They are also known as "ticker symbols."

BREAKING DOWN 'Stock Symbol'

The fifth letter of the ticker symbol of a Nasdaq listed stock can prove very helpful in finding out the history of a company. For example, if there is a "E" as the fifth letter, you know that the company has had previous trouble with their SEC filings.

RELATED TERMS
  1. F

    A Nasdaq stock symbol specifying that the stock is a foreign ...
  2. A

    A Nasdaq stock symbol specifying that the stocks are Class "A" ...
  3. D

    A Nasdaq stock symbol specifying that the stock is a new issue. ...
  4. S

    A Nasdaq stock symbol indicating shares of beneficial interest. ...
  5. U

    A Nasdaq stock symbol specifying that the issue is in units. ...
  6. I

    A Nasdaq stock symbol specifying that it is the third preferred ...
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RELATED FAQS
  1. Why do some stock symbols have three letters while others have four? What is the ...

    Stocks found on the New York and American Stock Exchange will normally have symbols with three letters or fewer. On the other ... Read Answer >>
  2. What are the fifth-letter identifiers on the Nasdaq?

    All of the companies traded on the Nasdaq have four-lettered tickers, which are representative of the actual company. For ... Read Answer >>
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