What is a stock code?
A stock code identifies an item of stock on a stock quotation scheme. Each unique code is made up of either numbers and letters or both. For example, Alphabet Inc, the owners of Google, are listed as GOOG and Apple Inc is listed as AAPL on Nasdaq.
Where have you heard about stock codes?
You see stock codes on the rolling ticker tapes that run across the bottom of the screen during financial news programmes. The code is used to show which company has traded shares.
What you need to know about stock codes...
Stock codes are also known as ticker symbols or stock symbols.
Each of the world's stock exchanges has a naming convention for their codes. The US and European stock exchanges normally use stock codes of 3-4 letters that often closely represent the company name, like EZJ for Easyjet. In Asia the stock codes are normally a series of digits, for example HSBC trades under 0005 on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Some stock codes contain useful information about the security listed. NASDAQ stocks, for example, usually have 4 letters but sometimes they also have a 5th letter that gives you more detail on the listing i.e. J means the shares have voting rights and Q means the company have previously been declared bankrupt.
If you want to look up a stock but only know the company name, you can search online in a database. All you have to do is enter the company name and select an exchange to search for it on.
You should be aware that stock can be traded on more than one exchange and in more than one country at the same time. This is known as cross listing. BP, for instance, are listed on both NYSE and the London Stock Exchange (LSE).