What is a 'Stock Quote'

A stock quote is the price of a stock as quoted on an exchange. A basic quote for a specific stock provides information, such as its bid and ask price, last-traded price and volume traded. Investors increasingly access stock quotes online or on mobile devices, such as smartphones, rather than through print media such as newspapers and magazines. A large number of Internet portals and websites offer delayed stock quotes at no charge, with real-time stock quotes generally restricted to paying subscribers.


All stocks in the U.S. have been quoted in decimals, rather than fractions, since April 9, 2001. As a result, bid-ask spreads have contracted dramatically, with spreads for the most widely traded stocks now as small as a penny, compared with 1/16th of a dollar (or $0.0625) earlier. Decimal pricing has resulted in substantial savings on transaction costs to U.S. investors because of tighter bid-ask spreads.

  1. Decimal Trading

    A system in which the price of a security is quoted using a decimal ...
  2. Two-Way Quote

    A type of quote that gives both the bid and the ask price of ...
  3. Quoted Price

    The most recent price at which an investment (or any other type ...
  4. Real-Time Quote

    This is the actual price of a security at that moment in time. ...
  5. Ask

    The ask is the price a seller is willing to accept for a security. ...
  6. Quote

    1. The last price at which a security or commodity traded, meaning ...
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  1. 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 >>
  2. 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 >>
  3. What number of shares determines adequate liquidity for a stock?

    Learn how the liquidity of a company's shares is generally affected by bid-ask spread and trading volume of shares bought ... Read Answer >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. What do the bid and ask prices represent on a stock quote?

    Learn what the bid and ask prices mean in a stock quote. Find out what represents supply and demand in the stock market and ... Read Answer >>
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