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Stock symbol

A stock symbol or ticker symbol is a unique shorthand code used to identify shares of a publicly-traded corporation on a stock market.

A stock symbol may either be comprised of letters, numbers or a combination of both.

Table of contents
1 U.S stock symbol history
2 External link

U.S stock symbol history

In the United States, modern letter-only ticker symbols were developed by Standard and Poor's (S&P) to bring a national standard to investing. Previously, a single company could have many different ticker symbols as they varied between the dozens of individual stock markets.

The S&P system was later standardized by the securities industry and modified as years passed.

Examples of U.S. stock symbols

# of LettersExchange
5 or more(special)

Currently a glance at a U.S. stock symbol and its appended codes can tell an investor where a stock trades and may give insight to the company's performance.

Interpreting the symbol

For most stock symbols, the letters are simple identifiers. One- or two-letter symbols always trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), three letter codes may trade on either the NYSE or American Stock Exchange (AMEX), Four- and five-letter codes trade on the Nasdaq, although five-letter ticker symbols are usually a special class of stock. For example, the ticker symbols of mutual funds must be five letters long and end in "X".


Sometimes the stock symbol has become more recognizable than a company's real name. For instance, more people may know the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company by the way its three-letter ticker ("MMM") is pronounced on Wall Street, "3M." International Business Machines officially changed its corporate name to "IBM" to match its ticker symbol.

NYSE "behind the dot" or Nasdaq 5th-letter codes and other special codes
A - Class "A" K - Nonvoting (common) U - Units
B - Class "B" L - Miscellaneous V - Pending issue and distribution
C - Continuance - or Nasdaq exception M - 4th class - preferred shares W - Warrants
D - New issue N - 3rd class - preferred shares X - Mutual fund
E - Delinquent in filings with the SEC O - 2nd class - preferred shares Y - American Depositary Receipt (ADR)
F - Foreign P - 1st class preferred shares Z - Miscellaneous situations
G - First convertible bond Q - In bankruptcy
Special codes
H - 2nd convertible bond R - Rights .PK - Trades over the counter
I - 3rd convertible bond S - Shares of beneficial interest SC - Nasdaq Small Cap
J - Voting share - special T - With warrants or rights NM - Nasdaq National Market

External link