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Tip of the Day Consider Itemizing Your Deductions

Consider Itemizing Your Deductions - Every year we have to file taxes and the tax man wait with anticipation to see how you will fair, so don't disappoint him, but...

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Stock Quote Symbol

According to Wikipedia, "A stock symbol is a short abbreviation used to uniquely identify publicly traded shares of a particular stock on a particular stock market. A stock symbol may consist of letters, numbers or a combination of both."

Standard & Poors is credited with bringing a national standard to stock symbols. Prior to that companies issuing shares could have many different symbols -- one, in fact, for each of the markets where their shares were traded.

It has only been within the past few years that the Securities & Exchange Commission has allowed the New York Stock Exchange's three-letter symbols to be used on the NASDAQ as well, when companies transferred over from the former to the latter. At first the rule change didn't apply to companies using only two- or one-letter symbols. Nowadays any stock is able to retain its particular symbol when moving to NASDAQ.

Believe it or not, the entire alphabet is available for use as single-letter symbols and most of those 26 individual letters have already been assigned. Ford Motor Company gets by with a single F. T represents AT & T, while V belongs to Visa, Inc. The last six ownerless letters are I, J, P, U, W, and Z.

Stock symbols can, of course, be much more personable while serving as a security identifier. Before InBev (a Dutch entity) acquired Anheuser-Busch in 2008, the company's stock symbol was BUD, as befitted the brewer of the #1 beer in the U.S. Sun Microsystems uses JAVA, named for its programming language. The merging of companies sometimes produces merged stock symbols. Exxon used to be XON. After their merger rival Mobil, the new symbol is XOM.

Originally stock symbols were devised as a way to save space when company stock price information was being transmitted via ticker tape. Nowadays, the system has progressed to the point where the NYSE occasionally assigns a stock symbol to a company utilizing the traditional two- or three-letter designation, followed by a period, that is then followed by another letter. This serves to further identify the stock. For instance, a stock symbol of XXX.A would indicate that company XXX is issuing Class A stock.

One stock symbol to beware of is the letter E following a company's exclusive stock symbol. The E symbolizes a delinquency in filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, so careful scrutiny of both the company and its offering is advised.

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Definition of the Day Investment Policy

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