What is a ticker?
A stock ticker is a listing of the ticker symbols of the stock trading on that particular exchange and carries constantly updated share movements. Because of the amount of stock trading on each exchange, the ticker is often limited to the shares moving in large volumes on that day. Its name comes from the ticking sound made by the ticker-tape machines that distributed the early price feeds. Its data can be based on price or on the size of turnover in the stock.
Where have you heard about tickers?
If you have ever seen news footage of trading on a stock exchange, you will have seen the large signs used by traders to keep track of stock movements. A smaller version of these is often displayed at the bottom of the screen during news coverage on TV.
What you need to know about tickers...
Every stock exchange uses stock tickers to keep traders up-to-date on share price movements; each such movement is called a 'tick'.
Stock tickers have come a long way from their roots in the telegraph system. Tickers are now fully electronic, and many on-line investment platforms allow traders to customise their own stock ticker, which can be displayed on their computer screen.
One by-product of the shift to electronic information has been the end of the traditional ticker-tape parade through the city streets for heroes such as American astronauts. These days, either specially manufactured 'ticker-tape' or confetti is used.