British Petroleum stocks are certificates consumers can buy that represent an ownership stake in the company. Each share of stock represents a claim to the assets and earnings of British Petroleum, according to Investopedia.
When consumers purchase individual shares of stock, such as BP stock, they have the possibility to sell the stock later at a higher price than the purchase price, Investopedia indicates. Consumers who earn a profit by buying and selling stocks create taxable income, which is subject to a capital gains tax. As of 2015, the New York Stock Exchange lists BP stock, and consumers can place buy and sell orders with licensed stock brokers who execute the trades on the NYSE, states MarketWatch. The ticker symbol for British Petroleum is BP.