How do you make sense of those stock quotes you see online or in a newspaper? Well, you just need to acquaint yourself with the information they're presenting. Let's review a typical online stock quote. Here's one for Scruffy'sChicken Shack (ticker: BUKBUK), an imaginary global chicken conglomerate.

Exchange: NYSE
Delay: At least 20 minutes
Last Price: 35.21 at 12:24 EDT
Change: Down 0.27 (-0.76%)
High: 39.60
Low: 35.02 at 10:38 EDT
Open: 35.60
Previous Close: 35.48 on 9/26
Volume: 6,385,400
30-Day Avg. Volume: 24,871,000
Shares Outstanding: 9,934,846,000
Market Cap: 349,805,927,660
52-Week High: 59.93
52-Week Low: 28.50
Beta: 1.18
Yield: 1.80%
P/E Ratio: 25.70
EPS: 1.37
Currency Units: U.S. Dollar

Now here's that same listing, with some explanatory comments after each line item.

BUKBUK -- SCRUFFY'S CHICKEN SHACK (This is the company's ticker symbol and name.)
Exchange: NYSE (Scruffy's trades on the New York Stock Exchange.)
Delay: At least 20 minutes (This information is at least 20 minutes old.)
Last Price: 35.21 at 12:24 EDT (This is the last recorded price Scruffy's shares traded at.)
Change: Down 0.27 (-0.76%) (The last price is 27 cents, or 0.76%, lower than the previous closing price.)
High: 39.60 at 9:49 EDT (The high price so far today has been $39.60 per share.)
Low: 35.02 at 10:38 EDT (The low price so far today has been $35.02 per share.)
Open: 35.60 (The shares began trading at $35.60 each today.)
Previous Close: 35.48 on 9/26 (The stock last traded at $35.48 in the last trading session.)
Volume: 6,385,400 (So far, 6,385,400 shares have changed hands today.)
30-Day Avg. Volume: 24,871,000 (Over the past month, an average of 24.9 million shares of Scruffy's traded daily.)
Shares Outstanding: 9,934,846,000 (Scruffy's has 9.9 billion shares "outstanding," or in existence.)
Market Cap: 349,805,927,660 (Scruffy's market capitalization -- shares outstanding times current share price -- is $350 billion.)
52-Week High: 59.93 (In the past year, the highest Scruffy's stock has traded has been $59.93.)
52-Week Low: 28.50 (In the past year, Scruffy's lowest stock price has been $28.50.)
Beta: 1.18 (This means that Scruffy's stock is 1.18 times more volatile than the overall market.)
Yield: 1.80% (Scruffy's current dividend yield -- the annual dividend divided by the current stock price -- is 1.80%.)
P/E Ratio: 25.70 (Scruffy's stock price divided by its trailing-12-month earnings per share is 25.70.)
EPS: 1.37 (Scruffy's earnings per share over the past year have totaled $1.37.)
Currency Units: U.S. Dollar (The stock trades in U.S. dollars.)

Newspaper and other online stock listings usually contain many, but not all, of the above items. Newspapers list stock information as of the previous trading day's close, whereas online quotes are updated continually throughout each trading session.

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