A live stock market ticker tape provides a company's ticker symbol, the volume of shares being traded, the final bid price, the amount of change in price, and the direction of that change, according to Investopedia. This data, called a quote, continually scrolls across the ticker throughout the trading day.
This information is vital to traders all over the world who are constantly trading lots or blocks of securities throughout the business day, explains Investopedia. Many networks use certain colors to help viewers decipher the data quickly and efficiently. Green print indicates a stock is trading higher than the previous day's quote, while red print means the opposite. Blue or white print indicates there has been no change from the previous day's closing price.
Every day, millions of trades on thousands of different stocks take place. It is impossible to record them all on the ticker tape, so quotes are selected according to several factors, explains Investopedia. High volume exchanges, extreme price fluctuations and corporations making significant news often cause a quote to be featured on the ticker. Before and after market hours, stock quotes appear in alphabetical order displaying the security's last quoted price of the market day.
Monitoring the stock ticker may not be the best way to stay informed about the markets, but tracking a stock's upticks and downticks can provide an overall indicator of market trends, notes Investopedia.