Most people aren't about to plunk down thousands of dollars to buy stock in a company
they haven't heard of – unless they've just won Powerball and are feeling
lucky. The average investor is going to do some homework before making major money
Visit our Quotes & Research section and you'll be amazed
at the wealth of information at your fingertips. For each company, we provide up-to-the-minute
news and stock price information, analyst ratings, earnings estimates and much
These pages also combine community data with traditional market research data. When
looking up a stock quote you can review the sentiment indicators which show whether
community members are buying or selling a particular stock, how widely held the
stock is and how members holding the stock are performing in relationship to others.
This data can help you make wise investing decisions.
What's a Stock?
A share of stock is essentially a small piece of a publicly traded company that
can be traded openly between different individuals. They can be traded on exchanges
in most countries, but the largest exchanges, like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
are located in the United States. Stocks are identified by their ticker symbol,
generally one to five characters. For example, Apple, Inc. is identified on its
exchange as AAPL.
Owning stock in a company also grants voting rights for some of the company's decisions,
including elections for the Board of Directors – either at the annual meeting
or by proxy.
For many years, stock ownership meant that an investor would receive a physical
stock certificate, but in the digital world brokers keep the document "in street
name" and investors receive a confirmation of ownership. It becomes the broker's
responsibility to notify shareholders of corporate events, such as annual meetings.