Today anyone with access to a newspaper, telephone, or the Internet can obtain a stock quote. But that's not the way it always was. Once upon a time a medium known as ticker tape was the main provider of viewable stock prices or quotes. For 100 years getting a same-day stock quote meant reading the ticker tape. And ticker tape itself? That consisted of a paper strip which ran through a machine called a stock ticker, which printed abbreviated company symbols followed by price and volume information on the strip before spewing it out. Telegraph wires transmitted the information.
The term "ticker tape" came from the sound made by the machine while it was printing. In the beginning, the ticker used the same symbols as Morse code to convey its financial information. Prior to that, hand-delivered written quotes or verbal messages conveyed stock market doings. The speedier delivery of stock quotes by ticker made possible more exact quotes, which led to greater market activity. Because the ticker ran continuously, updates whenever the price of a stock changed rendered the market a far less leisurely place of business. Trading became more time-sensitive.
Paper ticker tape started giving way to television coverage of the stock market in the 1960s. That was followed by the advent of PCs in the 1980s. Now paper ticker tape is obsolete and instead there are scrolling electronic tickers on brokerage walls and behind the gurus on TV's financial networks.
Stock quotes haven't changed that much over the years. The main change has been in advancing their delivery from some time in the past to real-time - or real near real-time. The terminology remains the same. Shares traded indicate the volume for the trade being quoted. Price traded refers to the price per share of a particular trade. Change direction is a visual cue showing whether the stock is trading higher or lower than the previous trade. This has led to terms of more recent vintage: downtick and uptick. Change amount refers to the difference in price from the previous day's closing.
All these bits of info are still delivered by today's modern-style ticker. The main difference between the old ticker and the new ticker is there's no paper strip accumulating on the floor to be shredded and tossed out of windows on passing parades, and the electronic scroll utilizes colors to indicate ups, downs, and static conditions.