Can someone explain why in the screenshot the opening price is $245 and the closing price is $251 (a difference of $6+) but the green text shows the movement as only +$1.38?

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  • 7
    Opening price is mostly irrelevant anyway. It's just the price the first trade of the day was made at. There is no guarantee that the parties involved weren't overpaying/underbidding because they wanted the transaction done in a hurry or because they simply made a mistake. It's an easy number to report, so it gets reported, but I don't think there is any meaningful data to be extracted from it, and unless you're the exceptionally eager one it isn't going to be you.
    – keshlam
    Oct 3, 2023 at 13:38
  • 2
    @keshlam For most exchanges opening price is the price at which the opening auction settled. This is the aggregate of many bids and offers being matched up at a single price. In that sense there is more certainty in the opening price than intraday prices because it comprises many competing bids and offers.
    – quant
    Oct 5, 2023 at 7:25
  • @quant: Right. But it's still only one matching point, and I believe there is no way to guarantee that your shares are the ones which win that auction without doing something stupid., not that someone else hasn't done something stupid which throws that number off this one time. Typically the price your shares move for first thing in the morning, unless you've specified otherwise, will usually be close to the opening, but that's a slightly different question thd one that was asked.
    – keshlam
    Oct 5, 2023 at 12:16
  • @keshlam Those same arguments apply to closing price. Somebody really needed the money for something so they were desperate to unload. Somebody thought there was going to be news announced after hours so they really wanted to buy or sell.
    – user71659
    Oct 5, 2023 at 22:19
  • 1
    @keshlam I'm not sure what you're trying to say, but my point was that your (now highly rated) comment mistakenly implies that opening trades are the same as other trades except they happen to be the first of the day. This is incorrect. Regarding guaranteeing that you'll get matched at the open, you can raise your bid and you will get matched. This doesn't necessarily mean you'll pay more (or if you do, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll pay your bid price), depending on the auction rules and size of your bid relative to the order book.
    – quant
    Oct 6, 2023 at 0:39

2 Answers 2


The previous day, the stock closed at $250.22. While it opened lower in the morning, that drop was erased and the stock closed at $251.60, a gain of $1.38 over the previous day's close.

Stock changes are always quoted relative to the previous day's closing price, not the current day's opening price.


Consider the number given : 251.60
Check the Increment : +1.38
Undo that Increment , that is , calculate 251.60-1.38 to get 250.22

Look at the Data to figure out where the number 250.22 is given.
Aha , it is "Prev Close" !
We might even calculate "100 [1.38/250.22]" to get the Percentage Increment "0.55%" which is given against the Increment.

Hence , we see that all the numbers are against "Previous Close" !

This makes a lot of sense & is very useful :

[ 1 ] You can track the Daily Increments over some time interval of Interest , by just taking the Starting Point & adding all the Increments ( & Decrements ! ) to get Current Value.
Eg you bought it at 500.00 , on Monday & the Daily Increments were +1.00 , -2.10 , +0.10 , +3.00 , +3.00 : The Current Value at the End of Day 5 will be 500.00 + 1.00 + -2.10 + +0.10 + +3.00 + +3.00 = 505.00
We can not get this via Starting Value. It works with "Previous Close" Values.

[ 2 ] It is the Standard Base Value to calculate Daily Percentages.

[ 3 ] We have Continuity between Previous Close & Current Value which will make the long term Chart more Consistent.

[ 4 ] The Dividends , Average returns , Interest , ETC are calculated based on Closing Price.

[ 5 ] Even the Stock Market Index @ the time of closing is calculated with Closing Stock Price Values.

[ 6 ] There are other technical uses too.

Here are few random references about Closing Price & why/how it is used to calculate Increments & Percentages :


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