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I have a basic question regarding equities. For this example, assume that I have a quote for KO stock which says the following:

Current Price = $39.00 | Bid = 38.99 x 6800 | Ask = 39.00 x 4300

What do the sizes for the Bid and Ask Quotes (6800 and 4300 respectively) actually represent? Do these sizes have anything to do with NYSE specialists?

Also, just to check my understanding, does the Bid Quote represent the highest price for which an investor is willing to buy a single share of KO?
Does the price in the Ask Quote represent the lowest price for which an investor is willing to sell a single share of KO?

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Bid = 38.99 x 6800

Someone wants to buy 6800 shares at $38.99 each.

Ask = 39.00 x 4300

Someone wants to sell 4300 shares at $39.00 each.

When someone's bid price matches someone's ask price, you've got a transaction.

  • I was referring to the sizes listed for "Bid" and "Ask" when you open the page for a stock on Yahoo Finance (finance.yahoo.com/q?s=KO). In my example, KO's Yahoo Finance page lists 38.99 x 6800 for "Bid:" and 39.00 x 4300 for "Ask:". What do the sizes mean for "Bid:" and "Ask:"? – Xceptional Mar 7 '13 at 4:05
  • I'm referring to 6800 and 4300 for "Bid:" and "Ask:" respectively. – Xceptional Mar 7 '13 at 17:48
  • @futuretrader what's not clear in my answer then? – littleadv Mar 7 '13 at 18:13
  • Are you saying the quoted bid/ask is a single person's bid/ask order or the combined bid/ask order of market participants? – Xceptional Mar 7 '13 at 19:57
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    Its usually the latest, and yes - its a single order. – littleadv Mar 7 '13 at 20:01

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