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Lesson 14. How to Check Your Investments > Reading the Stock Tables - Pg. 84

How to Check Your Investments Plain English 84 Depending on the market where stocks trade, stock symbols are composed of letter com- binations of one to four letters. The NYSE can use one letter (Y for Algheny) to three (BDK for Black & Decker) while shares available through NASDAQ use up to four letters (Intel is known as INTC). Often, electronic media will use the stock's symbol rather than its name to look up quotes. In addition, the stock symbol serves as a backup identifier for your stock in cases where several names or other information might confuse you. Think of the stock symbol as an airport code. When you fly to Chicago, for example, your luggage tags read ORD for O'Hare Air-port. If you're not flying to Chicago, you probably wouldn't make the effort to learn that particular code, but if you are going there, you should know O'Hare's code. The same applies to stock codes. Don't attempt to memorize every one, just the ones you have pur- chased, are considering for purchase, or in which you otherwise have an interest. Tip The stock symbol is used so frequently in the financial world that it is a good idea to mem- orize the symbol for your stock. High-Low In the preceding table, the first column on the far left and the second column from the left show the stock's highest and lowest points, respectively, over the previous year. These are listed in dollars and cents. You will notice that most of the numbers are followed by fractions in denominations of 16. The fractions represent cents (16/16 = 100 cents, or $1), and the various equivalencies are given in the following table: