Stock Quote

What it is:

A stock quote is an estimate of price or a price at which one party is willing to buy or sell a certain number of shares of stock from the other. A stock quote consists of a bid price and an ask price.

How it works/Example:

A stock quote for Company XYZ stock might include the real-time bid price, ask price, quote size, price of the last trade, size of the last trade, the high price for the day and the low price for the day. Stock quotes are available from the exchanges online, via the media or in financial publications.

Why it Matters:

Stock quotes are necessary to inform investors about the prices of securities. The information contained in a stock quote is sometimes limited; for example, it may not disclose which market makers are bidding for or offering the security, whether there are limit orders on the security or the size of potential trades at a particular price. In other words, stock quotes do not give the viewer access to the "order book" showing who has an interest in a security and at what price. But stock quotes do give traders and investors a basic idea of how a security is faring.

Best execution refers to the imperative that a broker, market maker, or other agent acting on behalf of an investor is obligated to execute the investor's order in a way that is most advantageous to the investor rather than the agent.