What Is a Stock Market Quote?


A stock market quote provides important details about a specific stock and its recent trading on an exchange. It shows the stock's price, bid and ask prices, trading volume, yield, and other essential information about its recent activity.

Key Takeaways

  • A stock quote displays the most recent price of a stock based on its trading activity on the exchange.
  • It also provides various extra details to assist investors in evaluating a stock's potential for making profits.
  • The stock prices you see might be delayed depending on where you get them, and this delay could impact your trading decisions.

Definition and Example of a Stock Quote

Stock quotes provide details about a specific stock's recent trading on an exchange. How quickly you get this information depends on the exchange and where you're searching. Throughout the trading day, you can usually see both buyer prices (bids) and seller prices (asks), along with other details. These quotes help buyers and sellers connect and make trades.


The price of a stock can change a lot in a single day based on market conditions. If you want to buy a stock, make sure you know the current price or use buy-limit orders to avoid paying more than you're okay with.

If you're interested in Coca-Cola's stock trading information, you'd search for its stock quote. The ticker symbol for Coca-Cola is 'KO', and on May 6, 2022, each share was priced at $64.74. Apart from the share price, a stock quote offers other important details. It provides valuable data that helps in deciding whether to buy or sell the company's shares.

How Stock Market Quotes Work

Both buyers and sellers need specific information about a stock to make a trade. They'll at least require the stock's name, its ticker symbol, the decided price, and the number of shares for buying or selling.

Whether you trade on the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, or other exchanges, a stock quote will display important details, sometimes in a shortened form.

In the stock listings, you might see footnotes. These notes highlight special situations like new record highs or lows, the stock's first day of trading, or unusual dividend payments.

What a Stock Market Quote Means for Individual Investors

Once you know how to read a stock quote, you can make smarter decisions about investing. By using the information available, you can understand a company's value and even forecast how a stock might perform. This helps you grasp a stock's changes and assess the risks when you invest.

You can check a stock's price throughout the day, but free internet sites might show delayed quotes. These sites might delay quotes by 20 minutes or more to sell real-time quotes for a higher price.

Create a watchlist to monitor stocks you're interested in over time. Even though past performance doesn't ensure future results, tracking your choices helps you recognize stocks that fit your trading plans. It also lets you notice patterns that could aid in your trading decisions.

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