Should stock symbols be eliminated?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by garfangle, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. I know this may be Wall Street heresy, but is it time to retire the use of abbreviated symbols as shorthand for company stock names? As more market information goes online it seems that except for the business pages of newspapers, there is no real need to abbreviate a company's name for stock information.

    People can just spell out a name and get back the information or a listing of the closest matches, unless we have all become illiterate because of the omnipresence of spell checkers. Also it would avoid confusion when the exchanges limit the abbreviated symbols to a few letters (remember the confusion over INTL (Inter-Tel Inc) for Intel (INTC) a few years back).

    Basically, if the industry dropped this anachronistic practice then the public would not have to also remember the acronyms, which may have no relation to the company name or business.
  2. gnome


    1. Stock symbols were/are to accommodate the stock ticker.
    2. Many symbols appear to have "no relation to the company name or business" because of mergers where one of the original company's symbol was retained... or, when a company changed its name... ie, Philip Morris symbol is MO... but now known as Alteria (?)
  3. And aside from casual and ignorant viewers of CNBC and a few electronic tickers on Times Square who actually uses tickers for trading info (as by the time the data is shown it's already old news)? By tickers I mean the traditional scroll.
  4. symbols are a good thing. i remember reading somewhere that our minds are programmed to remember 2/3 even 4 letters/digits very effectively. thats why telephone numbers are divided up into 3 parts.

    how many of us remember all the ticker symbols for bankrupt companies such as wcom ene mir........
  5. Good idea.
  6. A scrolling ticker that spells out the names of the companies ?!?! The time it takes to spell out Lockheed Martin, Southwest Airlines and General Electric along with share price and change defeats the efficiency the ticker provides.
    Newbies got their wish when CNBC slowed down the ticker, but to spell out companies?!? Good grief.
  7. Why do you need a ticker at all? CNBC/CNNfn do it as old habit, no pros use it (or shouldn't).
  8. cashonly

    cashonly Bright Trading, LLC

    Oh yeah, I can just see myself typing in Exxon Mobile, General Electric, International Business Machines, etc quickly trying to get an order off without having a typo in my haste!

    If the public is investing, they should do the due diligence to find out what a stock's symbol is just as they should to find out all the other pertinant info about the stock.

    Also, It would take all day for the CNBC sticker to scroll through one set of trades if full company names were used!
  9. Its kinda like the NFL ticker on Sunday during a game, it provides a quick update as to whats happening without looking anything up on the computer.
  10. agpilot


    WellIforone donotcare tochangefromshort symbolstolong

    namesthattake timetotype.

    I havn't had much trouble with symbols over the last 38 years.

    Why change it if it isn't broke.

    #10     Jan 1, 2004