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Lesson 14. How to Check Your Investments > Miscellaneous Information - Pg. 90

How to Check Your Investments 90 Investors can crunch numbers relevant to this or compared to that in order to come up with a dizzying volume of statistical data that will reveal any aspect of a stock's performance or support any view. At the end of the day, however, the simple way to determine the success of any investment is simply to ask, "Is it more valuable now than when I first bought it?" Without any flourishes, the closing price of the stock will announce just that. Net Change The figure in the last column on the right shows the net change, the change in the closing price of the stock from the previous day's closing price. Comparing this information with the current day's closing price gives the most basic indicator of the behavior of the stock's price from day to day. In our sample table, we can see that the change in the price of AirProduct's stock from the previous day was +$1. Using the current day's closing price of 36, we can deduce that AirProduct's stock price yesterday at closing was $35 per share, or that the value of AirProduct's stock went up $1 today. Plain English The net change is an indicator of the difference between the stock's current day closing price and the stock's previous day closing price. In addition, however, remembering that the previous day's closing price is the same price at which the stock began the trading day, we can compare that price to the stock's current day high and low to get an even better picture of the stock's volatility during the day. For example, in the sample stock table, we can determine that AgilentTch started the trading day at 74 11/16. The stock closed at 66 4/8, which is only 5/8, or .50, higher than the lowest point the stock hit that day. In this case, adding the net change loss to the closing price of AgilentTch (66 5/8 + 7 5/16), we can determine that it started the trading day at 73 5/16. The stock rose only a little higher during the trading day to its highest point of 74½, or a little more than half a point, and then plunged to 66 5/8, which, as we have already determined, was very close to the lowest point the stock reached during the day. This information gives a clear picture that this was a really bad day for AgilentTch. Combined with the information in the rest of the table, we know that AgilentTch at some point within the last year was trading at $162 per share (in the 52-Week High column) and that it has also traded as low as 39 13/16. Although today's performance wasn't the worst one ever experienced by AgilentTch, it's still pretty bad. Tip Please remember that the net change information by itself doesn't provide the whole picture. It is, however, a definite indicator that anyone interested in investing in this stock needs to learn what the relevant information is before deciding whether this stock is a good invest- ment. Miscellaneous Information In addition to the information discussed here and the keys to understanding the notations used, the stock pages of newspapers provide a vast array of other types of information regarding stocks and their markets. This type of miscellaneous information includes lists of ... · · · · Stocks that have reached new highs and lows. Stocks that are trading in odd lots. Stocks that are being offered for the first time (IPOs). Exchange rates of the U.S. dollar around the world, which could affect U.S. investments.