What Is A Stock Chart? by Jeff Desjardins, Visual Capitalist

It’s not uncommon for us to get messages from people that are attracted to the idea of investing, but that lack the essential training or confidence to fully dive in.

For example, we hear from millennials all the time – many are starting to save and know they need to invest, but they’ve never had to look at a stock chart before. We also often hear from wealth managers that want to help their clients understand the financial landscape better.

Today’s post explains a concept that’s important for any person looking to dive headfirst into finance.

What is a stock chart?

The following infographic from StocksToTrade shares the three most common types of stock charts used, and the information typically found in them.

[drizzle]It’s the perfect step-by-step primer for someone that wants to learn the basics!

What is a stock chart

What is a stock chart?

It’s simply a price chart that shows a stock’s price plotted over a time frame, and it shows a few key sets of information:

  1. Stock symbol and exchange

    The symbol for the stock, as well as the specific exchange it trades on.

  2. Chart period

    Typically daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. Traders usually concentrate on daily and intraday data to forecast short-term price movements. Investors usually concentrate on weekly and monthly charts to spot long-term price trends.

  3. Price Change

    There are four key data points from a day’s trading: open, high, low, and close. “Open” is the price at the start of the day and “close” is the price at the end of the day. The “high” is the highest price during the session, while the “low” is the lowest.

  4. Last Change

    Displays the net change, positive or negative, from a previous price. On a daily chart, it would be from the previous day’s close.

  5. Types of Charts

    There are three basic types of charts used:

  • Line: Plots the closing price of a chart over time, helping you to see how a price is behaving.
  • Bar chart: Plots the open, high, low, and close (OHLC) for each day using bars.
  • Candle and stick chart: A visually appealing chart similar to a bar chart that shows OHLC data in an easy way.
  1. Volume

    Volume is the amount of stock that has been bought and sold within a specific period of time. If a stock moves on low volume, it means that few people are participating in the current price movement and the trend may not continue. Meanwhile, if a stock moves on high volume, it means many people are involved in the trade and the trend is more likely to continue.

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