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Considering all shares outstanding are already owned, for someone to buy shares in that company they wouldn't be able to until someone sold shares? (Assuming no new issues etc.)

So hypothetically, Microsoft with 7.58b shares outstanding, if none were sold during a day, no new investors could buy any?

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  • See Market Maker.
    – not-nick
    Jun 6, 2020 at 3:57
  • For every sale, there is both a buyer and seller. If "none were sold", then no one bought; it's not a matter of shares being available to buy.
    – chepner
    Jun 6, 2020 at 21:35

2 Answers 2

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Everybody has a price. If no one is willing to sell at your bid, you'll have to increase it until you find a willing seller.

Furthermore, for stocks listed on an exchange like the NYSE or NASDAQ, there are market makers that are committed to buying/selling.

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So hypothetically, Microsoft with 7.58b shares outstanding, if none were sold during a day, no new investors could buy any?

Yes that is right. One can't buy if no one is ready to sell. Microsoft is a wrong example, it's a highly traded stock.

There would be quite a few illiquid stocks that trade in very small quantities.

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