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Monday, December 15, 2008

Understanding The Ticker Tape / 综合指数 2008年 12月 12日 / Composite Index 12/12/2008

Understanding The Ticker Tape By Zhuge Liang

You've seen them on business programs or financial news networks: a flashing series of baffling letters, arrows and numbers scrolling along the bottom of your TV screen.

While many people simply block out the ticker tape others use it to stay on top of market sentiment and track the activity of certain stocks. But what exactly is that cryptic script reeling by? It obviously tells us something about stocks and the markets, but how does one understand the ticker tape and use it to his or her advantage?

Brief History
Firstly, a tick is any movement, up or down, however small, in the price of a security. Hence, a ticker tape automatically records each transaction that occurs on the exchange floor, including trading volume, onto a narrow strip of paper, or tape.

The first ticker tape was developed in 1867, following the advent of the telegraph machine, which allowed for information to be printed in easy-to-read scripts. During the late 19th century, most brokers who traded at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) kept an office near it to ensure they were getting a steady supply of the tape and thus the most recent transaction figures of stocks. These latest quotes were delivered by messengers, or "pad shovers", who ran a circuit between the trading floor and brokers' offices. The shorter the distance between the trading floor and the brokerage, the more up-to-date the quotes were.
Ticker-tape machines introduced in 1930 and 1964 were twice as fast as their predecessors, but they still had about a 15-20 minute delay between the time of a transaction and the time it was recorded. It wasn't until 1996 that a real-time electronic ticker was launched. It is these up-to-the-minute transaction figures - namely price and volume - that we see today on TV news shows, financial wires and websites. And while the actual tape has been done away with, it has retained the name.

Due to the nature of the markets, investors from all corners of the globe are trading a variety of stocks in different lots and blocks at any given time. Therefore what you see one minute on a ticker could change the next, particularly for those stocks with high trading volume, and it could be some time before you see your ticker symbol appear again with the latest trading activity.

Reading the Ticker Tape
Here's an example of a quote shown on a typical ticker tape:

Ticker Symbol=== The unique characters used to identify the company.


Shares Traded The volume for the trade being quoted. Abbreviations are K = 1,000, M = 1,000,000 and B = 1,000,000,000.

Price Traded The price per share for the particular trade (the last bid price).

Change Direction Shows whether the stock is trading higher or lower than the previous day's closing price.

Change Amount The difference in price from the previous day's close.



Throughout the trading day, these quotes will continually scroll across the screen of financial channels or wires, showing current, or slightly delayed, data. In most cases the ticker will quote only stocks of one exchange, but it is common to see the numbers of two exchanges scrolling across the screen.

You can tell where a stock trades by looking at the number of letters in the stock symbol. If the symbol has three letters, the stock likely trades on the NYSE or American Stock Exchange (AMEX). A four-letter symbol indicates the stock likely trades on the Nasdaq. Some Nasdaq stocks have five letters, which usually means the stock is foreign. This is designated by an 'F' or 'Y' at the end of the stock symbol. Throughout the trading day, these quotes will continually scroll across the screen of financial channels or wires, showing current, or slightly delayed, data. In most cases the ticker will quote only stocks of one exchange, but it is common to see the numbers of two exchanges scrolling across the screen.

You can tell where a stock trades by looking at the number of letters in the stock symbol. If the symbol has three letters, the stock likely trades on the NYSE or American Stock Exchange (AMEX). A four-letter symbol indicates the stock likely trades on the Nasdaq. Some Nasdaq stocks have five letters, which usually means the stock is foreign. This is designated by an 'F' or 'Y' at the end of the stock symbol.

On many tickers, colors are also used to indicate how the stock is trading. Here is the color scheme most TV networks use:

Green indicates the stock is trading higher than the previous day's close.

Red indicates the stock is trading lower than the previous day's close.

Blue or white means the stock is unchanged from the previous closing price.


Before 2001, stocks were quoted as a fraction, but with the emergence of decimalization all stocks on the NYSE and Nasdaq trade as decimals. The advantage to investors and traders is that decimalization allows investors to enter orders to the penny (as opposed to fractions like 1/16).

Which Quotes Get Priority?
There are literally millions of trades executed on more than 10,000 different stocks each and every day. As you can imagine, it's impossible to report every single trade on the ticker tape. Quotes are selected according to several factors, including the stocks' volume, price change, how widely they are held and if there is significant news surrounding the companies.

For example, a stock that trades 10 million shares a day will appear more times on the ticker tape than a small stock that trades 50,000 shares a day. Or if a smaller company not usually featured on the ticker has some ground-breaking news, it will likely be added to the ticker. The only times the quotes are shown in predetermined order are before the trading day starts and after it has finished. At those times, the ticker simply displays the last quote for all stocks in alphabetical order.

Conclusion
Constantly watching a ticker tape is not the best way to stay informed about the markets, but many believe it can provide some insight.. Tick indicators are used to easily identify those stocks whose last trade was either an uptick or a downtick. This is used as an indicator of market sentiment for determining the market's trend.

So next time you're watching TV or surfing a website with a ticker, you'll understand what all those numbers and symbols scrolling across your screen really mean. Just remember that it can be near impossible to see the exact price and volume at the precise moment it is being traded. Think of a ticker tape as providing you with a general picture of a stock's "current" activity.

综合指数 2008年 12月 12日



如图中箭头A所示,综合指数稍微下滑,惟综指精确的在布林中频带(Bollinger Middle Band)获得支持,所以布林中频带继续的成为综指接下来的动态支持线。另一方面,布林频带(Bolliner Band)只打开1%,这并未达到明显打开的水平,所以综指还是未能确认出现上扬的趋势。

无论如何,由于综指还是能够维持在布林中频带以上的水平,这表示若布林频带接下来开始打开的话,那综指还是有望出现期待已久的上扬趋势,所以综指能否能保持在布林中频带是综指接下来是否能转强的关键。综指当前的支持水平依然落在800点,阻力水平则是887点的胜图自动费氏线及T1的下降趋势线。

如图中箭头B所示,马股成交量进一步下滑20.2%,所以成交量继续的处于40天成交量移动平均线(VMA)以下,这表示整体市场还是维持在一个淡静的格局里,这是综指调整或横摆的迹象。

如图中C圈所示,随机指标(Stochastic)在周四稍微突破70%立刻就再度跌破了70%的水平,这表示综指的短期上扬趋势并未真正的形成,这是因为布林频带始终还未打开所致。

总的来说,综指虽然在酝酿这一个涨势,不过只欠布林频带打开的这个东风,当然国际市场的变化也对综指的后市有一定的影响。

Composite Index Daily Technical Analysis 12/12/2008

As indicated by A, the KLCI ended lower on Friday, but precisely supported by the Bollinger Middle Band, therefore, the Bollinger Middle Band is the immediate support for the KLCI. Meanwhile, the Bollinger Bands Width only expanded 1%, therefore the signal is insignificant.

Nevertheless, if the KLCI should remain supported by the Bollinger Middle Band, the immediate outlook for the KLCI is slightly on the positive side. If the Bollinger Bands Width should expands with the KLCI above the Bollinger Middle Band, it would be a bullish signal. Other support for the KLCI is still at 800 point while the next resistance is still at the 871 Fibonacci Retracement as well as the T1 downtrend line.

As indicated by B, total market volume declined another 20.2%, and as a result, the volume is still below the 40-day VMA level, suggesting the overall market participation is still low. The low volume is also a typical sign of a consolidation market.

As circled at C, the Stochastic failed to maintain above the 70% level, and therefore, the short term bullish signal of the KLCI has ended. In short, the KLCI is still preparing for a new movement, and we will still have to wait until the Bollinger Bands Width expands to determine the new direction of the KLCI, and of course, the performance of the regional markets also play an important role in affecting the KLCI performance.

HAPPY TRADING & GOODLUCK2ALL


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