For the volume of a stock that is listed on, www.finance.google.com, what kind of measurement is that? Is that the number of shares that were traded? or something else?

On the CNBC ticket screen, when it says something like "Microsoft Corp. MSFT 15.5k @ $60.00, down arrow", what is that "15.5k", shares that exchanged hands?

Finally, what does "institutional ownership" mean? Is that owned by big banks or hedge fund companies?

  1. Volume is measured in the number of shares traded in a given day, week, month, etc. This means that it's not necessarily a directly-comparable measure between stocks, as there's a large difference between 1 million shares traded of a $1 stock ($1 million total) and 1 million shares traded of a $1000 stock ($1 billion total). Volume as a number on its own is lacking in context; it often makes more sense to look at it as an overall dollar amount (as in the parentheses above) or as a fraction of the total number of shares in the marketplace.

  2. When you see a price quoted for a particular ticker symbol, whether online, or on TV, or elsewhere, that price is typically the price of the last trade that executed for that security. A good proxy for the current fair price of an asset is what someone else paid for it in the recent past (as long as it wasn't too long ago!). So, when you see a quote labeled "15.5K @ $60.00", that means that the last trade on that security, which the service is using to quote the security's price, was for 15500 shares at a price of $60 per share.

  3. Your guess is correct. The term "institutional investor" often is meant to include many types of institutions that would control large sums of money. This includes large banks, insurance companies, pooled retirement funds, hedge funds, and so on.

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Yep, you have it pretty much right.

The volume is the number of shares traded that day.

The ticker is giving you the number of shares bought at that price in a given transaction, the arrow meaning whether the stock is up or down on the day at that price.

Institutional can also refer to pensions, mutuals funds, corporates; generally any shareholder that isn't an individual person.

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