Stock Market 101 (part 2)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm writing this with the assumption that you've read part 1. This is the second installment of my "get to know the stock market while treating it as a joke" series. And no, I did not sell my soul to satan to enter the stock market.

Okay, so you have a broker and you already have money at hand. You're ready to trade, playah.

Let's take a closer look at a typical stock index query website such as (I'm using this site since it's more likely to not crash during trading hours compared to the PSE website, which offers more comprehensive information on stocks.)

Starting with the Stock Quotes section, you'll see that every company has a 3-4 letter stock code. They're used to identify companies with inconveniently long names, kinda like nicknames kids gave you when you were younger, "spud". To get the stock code of a company, you can either visit the pse website or use the symbol guide link on this page.

At the bottom part, you see the following elements:

PREV. It's the price of the stock from the previous trading day. Trading days are usually mondays to fridays 9:30 -12:15 except public holidays and special emergencies.

OPEN The price of the first trade made during the day.

HIGH Highest price used in a trade made during the day.

LOW Lowest price used in a trade made during the day.

LAST Price of the most recent trade during the loading of your screen.

RANGE The fluctuation of the price from it's high point to its low point.

DIFF Difference of the price of the last sale compared to the price yesterday

%CHG The difference in percentages of the last sale compared to yesterday. A positive value means the stock is gaining value and a negative one means the stock price slid down from yesterday.

TVOL Total number of stock that changed hand during the day. A low amount means the stock is not very active and not many investors are interested in playing with this stock. Active stocks means prices may fluctuate faster (higher highs and lower lows, depending on the situation) than usual.

TAMT Total amount involved in the changing of hands. This is a good index for comparing the activeness of a stock with respect to other stocks, since some stocks differ in price per stock by as much as 1000%. (see megaworld, meralco)

Next we have the items on the top part of the Quote tab, which is the ASK PRICE and ASK VOL as well as the BID VOL and BID PRICE.

The ASK PRICE here is the highest possible asking price that buyers would like to buy their stocks. ASK VOL is the total number of stocks that investors want to buy at that price. If you have a stock that you want to sell at the moment, ASK PRICE is the highest amount that you can possibly get for your stocks. If the ASK VOL drops to zero, that means nobody wants to buy in that range anymore and you will have to look for

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