1.Locate the abbreviated name of the company. The abbreviation usually appears in the third column ("Stock").
2.Look at the 52-week high ("Hi"). This is the highest price anyone has paid for the stock in the past year, and it appears in the first column.
3.Find the 52-week low ("Low"). This is the lowest price paid for the stock in the past year. The figure appears in the second column.
4.Note the ticker symbol. This symbol, used by the stock exchange to identify the company, appears in the fourth column.
5.Check the dividend and yield figures that appear in the fifth and sixth columns. "Div" is the amount of cash that would be paid to shareholders yearly based on the most recent quarterly payment. "Yld" is the cash dividend divided by the closing price of the stock.
6.Review the "PE" figure that appears in the sixth column. The price-earnings ratio is calculated by dividing the closing price by earnings for the past four quarters combined. This provides a way to compare stock values.
7.Note the seventh column, "Vol.," which shows how many shares of the stock changed hands the previous business day.
8.Glance at the eighth and ninth columns, which show the highest ("Hi") price and the lowest ("Lo") price paid for the stock on that day.
9.Read the last two columns to find out the price at which the stock closed for the day ("Close") and the net change ("Net chg") from the day before.
Some newspapers underline or otherwise highlight certain listings. This may indicate the company is locally based or has significant operations in the local area.
The quotes listed in newspapers generally show the closing price of the stock on the most recent trading day and, as such, are at least a day old. Online quotes are more up-to-date, but they tend to be about 15 minutes behind actual trading.