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Understanding Stock Charts

When you read the stock pages, you will see something like this:

First column, this is where they print the highs and lows that the stock has traded for over the year. You will not see yesterday's numbers here.

Next column, in this column you will find the name of the company, as well as information about the type of stock it is.

The third column has a jumble of letters used to identify the stock. These are the letters you will see on financial TV when the ticker tape flashes across the bottom of the screen. If you don't know the letters for your company you can find this information online.

Next, from left to right you will see the dividend per share rate. Sometimes companies do not pay out dividends.

Following the dividend rate you will see the dividend yield. This is the percentage return that a shareholder could be expected to receive over a year.

Next you can note the price/earning ratio that is the current earnings for each share divided by the last four quarter's returns.

After that you will see the trading volume. The trading volume is the number of shares that have changed hands on the market that day. You will need to add "00" to the end to get the actual number of shares.

The next two columns can be taken together. They represent the day highs and lows that the particular stock has reached that day.

After these two columns you can read the closing price. This is very important for you to know if you want to be serious about stocks. If you see a number in bold, pay special attention. Numbers are printed in bold when they are either up or down 5% from the day before. This price is apt to change before you are ready to purchase the stock, however, so be cautious.

Next to the closing price is the net change. The net change is the change that a stock experiences over a day. A stock is said to have gone up when the net change is positive and to have gone down with the net change is negative.

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