Some Help With Bid And ASK Please!!!

Discussion in 'Trading' started by Kastro_316, Jun 18, 2002.

  1. Hey guys. Iv been searching the board but i cant seem to find the answer to this question. Could someone please help me out.

    I dont totaly understand the Bid and the Ask and Last.

    for example on my QUOTEtracker i have lets say BRCM
    bid is 21.23 ask is 21.25 and the last is 21.24
    Now i just dont understand what they mean. Like what one is the price i buy the stock for?, and what is the price i sell the stock for?. What one am i looking at to see if it goes up, and when it goes up i sell it. What one is that.
    Like say i buy it at 21.25 to ask price. Now what am i looking for, what do i look at to see if it goes up so i can sell when it goes up.????

    I know this is a stupid question, but i just cant find the answer to it. It would help me alot if you could help me out a little guys.

    Thank you

    Take care
  2. trdrmac



    The Bid is the price the market maker or specialist claims that they will buy your stock from you. So a stock bid 20.25 X 1 would mean someone will buy 100 shares at that price. The ask is the reverse 20.30 X 1 means the mm or specialist will sell you a stock for. With the exception of the ecns, the bid/ask are just guidelines, nothing says you will buy or sell at this price.

    As for what to look for, that depends on what you want to do. And since there are hidden orders and refresh orders it is a little hard to decipher what is going to happen in a stock.

    Think about this, if you had 1M shares of GE to sell would you advertise to the whole world they were for sale? Or to buy?
  3. Rigel


    The "Ask" is the lowest price anyone has said they will sell it for.
    The "Bid" is the highest price anyone has said they will buy it for.
    When you want to sell the stock immediately (on NASDAQ, forget about NYSE) you look at the Bid (the bid means nothing on NYSE stocks), that's the price you care about when trying to sell, and offer to sell it at that price or a penny or two below it by using a limit order (which is how Bid and Ask prices are established). Even if you offered to sell it at 20 cents below the Bid you'll automatically get filled at the best price which is usually the Bid. Even if it only shows a hundred chances are that there are a few thousand hidden there or a penny below (if it is a medium or high volume stock).
    The Bid and Ask are the offers.
    The Last is the last price the stock traded at, the one that shows on the charts.
    It's all confusing at first. It takes a little while to catch on.
  4. So on Quote tracker, What do i look at to see if the stock is going up, Is that the "Last" Is the last the one that shows the stock going up and down. So if the stock raises, i sell it.
  5. trdrmac


    Look at a chart. If the stock is going up the price will keep getting higher. When a stock is going down the price will keep getting lower. This will be true until the trend reverses.

    From second to second only the most skilled traders will be able to decifer what will happen next. Learn about support and resistance and move your time frame beyond the next tick.
  6. Kastro,

    Part of your problem might be that you are looking at Naz stocks. The Naz level 2 screen and the time and sales scroll throw a lot of information at you. Personally, I try to avoid tape reading Naz stocks. Try looking at a stock listed on the NYSE. Often these stocks move slower and the information is easier to digest. The level 2 screen is less congested and you might have an easier time figuring out what is going on.
    Best of luck
  8. "Last" is the price that the last trade went off at.