To track how your stocks are doing, you have to look at stock listings. Stock listings are published online and in just about every newspaper.
The listings look confusing at first, since they look like a mixture of numbers, but can be a very useful tool when tracking your stock's progress.
The listings are organized into many columns, including the following information:
52 Weeks High and Low:
This field is a good indicator about a stocks volatility. Volatility is an indicator of the riskiness and potential for profit that the stock has.
The greater the difference between the high and low, the riskier the stock is for loss and gain.
This field is usually abbreviated in the listings, and listed alphabetically.
This field is a one to five character symbol used as a sort of nickname for the company.
This field is listed in currency format, and it is the cash amount of money that the company will pay you each year for each stock.
This field is calculated by dividing the dividend by the closing price. It just tells you how much of the price of the stock you will be paid in dividends each year.
The price-earnings ratio calculates the relationship between the price of a company's stock, and the annual earnings of a company. It is calculated by divinding the closing price of the stock by the earnings per share of each stock.
The volume is the amount of stocks that were traded the day before.
High, Low and Close:
These are the highest and lowest prices of the stock the day before, and the closing price for the day before. This is an indicator of how much the price of the stock fluctuated throughout the previous day.
This is the change of the price of the stock from the previous day. This gives you an idea whether the price is dropping or rising.
In addition to the stock listings, stock price charts can sometimes offer a better view of how the stock is doing.
The price charts graphically organize the value of the stock over time. The charts can give you information on the company's historical performance, the stock's stability or volatility, the stock's current price relative to the past, and the stock's growth rate.