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The Ticker Tape, Stock Indices, and Other Media 93 The Top Row The information on the ticker tape is displayed in two rows. The top row contains information identifying the stock whose performance is being listed--the symbol of the stock, for example. Since insufficient room exists to list the full names of the stocks, investors must already know the stock symbol. Stock symbols here can run from one to four letters as appropriate for the corresponding market. Of the 26 letters in the English alphabet, 22 are used individually to note stocks. The letters I, O, Q, and W are not used, because I and O look too much like the numerals 1 and 0. In addition, Q is reserved for companies that have filed bankruptcy. W isn't used because it is too easily confused with the lowercase letter w which, when it follows a stock symbol, denotes a warrant. Still, having a whole letter to yourself is pretty prestigious, so it goes without saying that the stocks assigned to those 22 letters are major companies. AT&T, for example, gets the letter T, and Sears gets the letter S; both are major old and respected companies. The order of the listings is alphabetical by the actual name of the company, not by its stock symbol, so the symbols on the tape appear to be listed without rhyme or reason, unless you know the correct name of the company as well as its stock symbol. Tip Know the names and/or symbols of a couple of stocks that precede your own so you won't miss your listing when it passes. Following the stock symbol, you may discover the symbol "Pr." This indicates that the following information pertains to the stock's preferred classes. In the event that the company has issued more than one class of preferred stock, the appropriate class would be designated by following the Pr symbol with the letters A, B, C, and so forth.