Magazine article New York Times Upfront

How to Read a Stock Table

Magazine article New York Times Upfront

How to Read a Stock Table

Article excerpt

The stock pages in the newspaper may look like secret code. But you can learn a lot about stocks once you know how to read them.

Here's an example using the listing for Yahoo Inc., the Internet portal, which is sold on the exchange. The listing is adapted from The New York Times of February 15, 2001, and reflects trading on the previous day.

The highest and lowest prices paid for a share of stock in the past year in dollars. These figures can show you whether today's price is high or low for this stock. The difference between high and low also tells how volatile, or unstable, a stock is.

Percent yield--the dividend divided by the stock's closing price--is one way of evaluating a stock's worth. It tells how much a stock pays compared with how much it costs. Because Yahoo pays no dividend, this column is left blank.

High, low, and close (sometimes called last) are the highest and lowest prices at which the stock sold during the day, and its final price when the market closed. (Prices are sometimes reported in fractions of dollars--6 1/4 means $6.25.)

The change--the difference between a stock's closing price that day and its closing price the clay before--shows whether the price is going up or down. A minus sign means the price went down; a plus sign means it went up. …

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