Stock Quotes Provide Penny Stock Research Info

By Peter Leeds

Stock quotes tell you at what price the shares most recently traded. More important than knowing the latest price is to keep an eye on changes in price by tracking stock quotes over time.

For example, a stock quote of 50¢ per share only tells you the price at which the stock most recently traded. But if you also know that it traded at 25¢ the day before, you know that the shares have doubled in a short time. And if the stock was trading at 70¢ an hour ago, you can see that the shares are now on their way down.

Penny stocks can change quickly and dramatically in price, so you want to keep an eye on the company by getting frequent quotes. The more active and volatile the penny stock, the more frequently you should check the price.

The general rule is that you never want to be surprised by the activity of a penny stock. Checking a stock quote and finding that shares haven’t changed in value won’t hurt you, so check them as frequently as necessary to know exactly where the shares are and where they appear to be headed.

Keep in mind that sometimes a penny stock plays possum, or lulls you to sleep, by trading for years within a tight price range with very little movement, only to suddenly triple or collapse in value. To be prepared for events like this, you can set price alerts with your broker or one of many free quoting services. A price alert warns you (by email, instant message, or some other method) when the underlying shares trade at whatever price trigger you set. You can also set alerts for a stock’s total trading volume.

You can get stock quotes from hundreds of places, and the majority of them are free and online. Your brokers can provide you with quotes, as do financial websites.

Remember that in most cases, free stock quotes are delayed by 15 to 20 minutes. If you want real-time quotes, which have no delay at all, you usually have to pay for that service.