Breaking News
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details



What Is A Stock?

A stock is a security that represents ownership in a public corporation. The owner of a stock is entitled to a corresponding share of the assets of a company, if they were to be liquidated, and is entitled to any benefits the company bestows upon its stockholders, e.g., dividends, splits, etc.

A stock is also known as a share because the number of shares owned determines the proportional ownership stake in the company. Two major types of stock are common and preferred.

Common vs. Preferred Shares

Generally, owners of common stock can vote at shareholder meetings and receive dividends, i.e., payments based on company performance, typically, quarterly or annually. A company is not required to pay dividends, but some companies use these payments to entice investors to buy their shares.

Preferred stock owners often cannot vote at shareholder meetings, but are first in line to receive the other benefits of owning a stock. For example, if a company's available cash for dividends is limited, preferred stockholders are the first to receive payments while common stockholders may get a reduced amount or no dividends at all. Preferred stockholders also have a stronger claim to company assets in the event of asset liquidation or disbursement of proceeds from the sale of a company.

Price appreciation is one of the major reasons for stock ownership. Stocks are traded on exchanges around the world with a varying degree of liquidity, depending on the currency, the exchange, and the stock itself.

Why Do Companies Issue Stock?

A public company that generates revenue is in a position to raise capital by selling shares, or stock, in the company. If the company does well, the value of the company’s stock rises as demand increases.

If the company does poorly, the value of the stock falls as demand drops. The stock price can also rise if the company buys back its own stock, which reduces the supply of shares outstanding.

Conversely, the stock price often falls if a company issues more stock, which dilutes the ownership stake of individual shares in the company.

Finding Stock Information on

The Stock Quotes page summarizes world stock information and provides a table with sortable columns. The dropdown menu at the upper left of the table allows the user to choose from any number of stock categories; the tabs on the right of the table change the column data to important selected categories.

Detailed information on each stock is available by visiting the main page of each company, e.g Facebook (NASDAQ:FB). This page includes real-time price information, if available, charts, news and analysis, and other critical metrics.

Multiple tabs directly above the technical chart in the middle of the page provide insightful information about Financials, Technicals, Discussions, and much more.

Continue with Google
Sign up with Email