How To Read a Stock Table

Have you ever dreamed of knowing how to read the stock table whenever you open the newspaper, the NASDAQ screen or those business news channels on TV? Well, you have come to the right place because today you would be able to find out how to do that. An advantage of knowing how to read it is that you will get to monitor your stocks whether it is improving or you are not getting success from it.

stock table

  1. The first two columns are where you will find peak prices made by a stock in a year. When I said peak prices, this includes both the highest and lowest that were traded in the current year but not the day before it was showed on screen or a printed material.
  2. You will find the name of the company and the type of stock it holds on the third column. You will notice some symbols or letters that go after its name and if you don’t see any of those next to it, then I can guarantee you that they are called common stocks. Symbols also represent a stock’s class of share as well.stock tables
  3. You are probably wondering about those alphabetic name that distinguishes the stock, those are the ticker symbols and you can find that on the fourth symbol. If you watch any financial or business channels, you will see what I’m talking about because are the ones that are always moving on the screen. If you want to keep track of the stock or company that you invested in, you have got to research for its symbol online.
  4. The Dividend Per Share is next and it is on the fifth column. It indicates the yearly dividend payment that a stock has per its share. If you see that there is no amount placed in it, then it means the stock or company did not pay out its dividends as of the moment.
  5. Let’s now go to column 6 where you can see the Dividend Yield. This is a dividend’s percentage return.
  6. The seventh column is for the price ratio.
  7. The trading volume is found on the eighth column. If you want to keep up with the number of shares that were done trading for a day, this is your go-to column. It would be a little bit overwhelming since its list is made in hundreds.
  8. For the price range that a company or stock had made through trading in the current, columns 9 and 10 are the ones you should be looking at. It is called the day high and low column.
  9. The last trading price of the day in the market can be determined on column 11.
  10. The final column is the twelfth and it’s the net change. This is the change in the value of the stock price from the day before it closed.


These are so far the basic things you need to know in learning how to read a stock table.


Stock trading anecdotes that show us how NOT to do it

The Market Technician Who Shorted an Illiquid Stock

My friend just lost a good sum of money.  He’s actually a stock market technician and he’s given me some really good advice on how to read charts and “time” the markets.  But the problem is that he lost his money because of one of his “strategies.”   He shorted an issue that went up 50% to ceiling price.  That was actually one of the tips he gave me.  “You can make good money by short selling.  Look for an issue that goes up to the ceiling price and sell it at the top.  It will most definitely go back down and you can then buy it back.  Easy money,” he said.

stock trading

However, in the case of my market technician friend, the stock that hit ceiling stayed at the top the whole day.  There really was no fundamental reason for it to stay that way.  It was a shell company with no significant future prospects.  A fairly illiquid stock with just a few holders.  Apparently, speculation and hype from a few buyers caused the sharp increase in price.   However, that day, the stock did actually ran out of sellers and left a queue of buyers upon the market’s close.

The next day, my friend was ready to just cover his short at the same price he sold. But no.  At the open, the stock shoot up another 50%, hitting ceiling once again.  The exchange already asked the issuer company, and asked for some guidance from some of his friend at an investment firm in Bermuda called Lom for an explanation for the unusual price movement.  But the issuer said there wasn’t any particular reason they were aware of.  No reason for it to double in price.  My friend waited the whole day, but not once did the stock price give.  His order at the top was not served either.

The following day, which was the second day after his short sale, my friend was already “certain” there was going to be a retracement.  Again, that never came.  Three days ceiling price.

On the third day after his trade, he finally gave up and placed an order at preopen, at the ceiling price.  He was able to cover his short at a loss of 237%.  But what made it even worse was that the stock price began to fall after he bought it back that day.  The price declined and continued falling the next day and the day after that.  The stock then stabilized at a price where my friend could have made money from his short.

I learned a few things from my friend’s horror story.  One, never short an illiquid stock.  Two, it really is true what John Maynard Keynes said – that the markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.


The Lucky Newbie Who Had No Stop Loss                  

My officemate and I, we heard about this really cool mining stock.  It was a company that had an operating, producing gold mine.  We both decided to buy at the same time – at 30 cents per share.  After two weeks, the price began to skyrocket.   After less than a month, it had gone up to three times our purchase price!

At that point, I decided to sell.  I didn’t really know why I did so.  I just thought that the gains were good enough for me.  I wanted my money. My officemate, on the other hand, decided he would hold because he knew the price still had far to go.

He was right.  The stock continued its ascent until it was four times our purchase price.  I hated myself at that time.  Plus, I had to endure my officemate mocking me because of my wrong move.  I sold too early, he said, laughing at my exit price.

However, at a certain point, the stock began to slow down.  It then retraced its steps a bit and just went sideways for a time. I stopped monitoring that particular issue as I got busy with some other things at work.  I already zeroed out my position anyway.  After a couple of months, I ran into the stock again. It was doing 21 cents per share!

I then remembered my officemate.  I asked him how much he got to sell his for.  To my horror I found out that he was still holding the stock!  Not a single share sold.

His agony lasted for a few more months.  I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t make himself just sell. Was he hoping for the stock to return to its peak? For his unrealized gains to make a reappearance? Maybe he was just hoping for his trade to breakeven.  Or, maybe he just didn’t know why he kept holding on.  Just like I didn’t really have a concrete reason why I sold early.

But at the end of the story, he finally cut his loss.

I learned some things from my officemate’s sad mishap: One, it’s hard to time the market and it’s virtually impossible to identify the very peak of a stock’s price.  Two, I was wrong for selling too early and should have instead prolonged my profits until there was a sign of a reversal.  Three, my friend was right at prolonging his profits but was wrong at not having a stop loss once he saw the trend reverse.


How To Invest When You Don’t Have Much Money To Start With

In order to enjoy your money while you are young, investing it to something worthwhile is the best idea. But of course, it would definitely involve having your own money to start this brilliant move.  The truth is, you don’t have to have much to start an investment. In fact, I would advice that you how to investstart small and watch that grow. Lots of successful entrepreneurs have done it and it only takes a lot of patience and discipline.


There is actually a lot of advantages for starting using only a little amount because the risk that you are about to get yourself into won’t be that high. I know you are going to ask how exactly are you going to begin and the good news is, there are so many options that I could teach you today.


The first is through your own savings. Before you invest it to something big, make it grow first from something small. You can put up a small and start up business with the help of the little amount that you have saved. A small business could be online and it should be something that you are passionate about and something that you really know well how to handle.


Aside from your own savings, you could also do it with a partner. Just be sure that your partner will be able to help you succeed and not cause you trouble. Most people just choose sole proprietorship because it causes less drama in the workplace.


Moving on to how you could invest with very little money, I suppose taking more jobs on the side like freelance types would also add to your capital for investment. Basically, the idea is to acquire more capital for starters without really having to pressure yourself.


Investing on real estate is a good idea too because you would be able to circulate the fund once you have acquired a tenant or a buyer for the house or property that you originally signed up for a mortgage deal. As the landowner, you will then have the right to put the price tag on your estate.


Aside from these options, I would also suggest that you check out some crowdfunding sites to gain more funds for your capital. These sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo would speed up the process of your project because it involves a lot of people online who are willing to give you a startup fund. Just make sure that your pitch is appealing and compelling.


Nothing is impossible these days if you want to start up a project or if you want to invest on a new business. With technology right in our hands, growing your business and creating financial stability is now easy. Being resourceful is key to succeed in this venture and never be afraid to always ask if there are things that you don’t understand. This is still your money that would be on the line here, so it is best to always be careful.