What Types of Historical Data Are Used in Generating Stock Quotes?

Stock quotes comprise historical data such as year-to-date change, 52-week high and low price, dividend rate and trading volume, notes About.com. Investors find stock quotes in newspapers or online.

The year-to-date change is the percentage change in stock price from the first day of the calendar year and takes into account events such as stock splits and disbursements, states About.com. The 52-week high and low figures are the maximum and minimum trading prices of a stock over the last year. Dividend rate refers to the annual dividend based on regular disbursement. Trading volume is how many shares change hands during a given period, reports Zacks Investment Research.

Online sources provide the most current information, notes About.com. Websites such as Nasdaq's permit investors to search real-time quotes, flash quotes, summary quotes, premarket quotes and historical quotes. They also allow investors to study company charts, comparison charts and interactive charts to look for trends in a stock's history.

Stock quotes and charts can change even after a trade is executed, notes the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. As of 2015, no requirements set forth how fast a broker must execute a trade. Therefore, investors need to be cautious about the methods that a broker uses to execute a trade.