How to Figure Out How Many Shares of a Stock Were Traded That Day

by Bob Haring

    Trading volume is considered a key indicator among investors of future price activity in a stock. High volume is seen as a sign of potential major price changes -- up if the activity is moving prices higher, trouble if prices trend downward. Many investors "chart" volume, recording changes in daily trading activity to show trends. Some companies offer investor chart services that record both sales volume and price changes.

    Step 1

    Look in a daily newspaper which publishes stock market tables. Refer to a national newspaper like "The Wall Street Journal" or "USA Today" if your local paper does not publish tables or does not include tables for the stocks you follow. Check a brokerage office or online reference if a newspaper is not convenient.

    Step 2

    Find the name of the stock and look across the line with price information. Find the column labeled "sales" or "vol" for volume. Add two zeroes to that number because sales volumes are reported in 100-share blocks. A sales figure of 15584, for instance, means 1,558,400 shares actually traded that day. Use this technique regardless of the exchange or market.

    Step 3

    Look for an "odd lot" report if the stock you are following has a lot of activity in less than 100 share trades. These trades account for 4 percent to 5 percent of trading volume, according to data cited in a September 2012 article on the Bloomberg website. Knowing how many odd lots were traded can give you a more accurate picture of the total trading volume, especially for stocks with heavy volume.

    Tip

    • Securities markets are considering incorporating odd lot sales into volumes reported on the considated reporting services because of the increase in that type of trading.

    Photo Credits

    • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Bob Haring has been a news writer and editor for more than 50 years, mostly with the Associated Press and then as executive editor of the Tulsa, Okla. "World." Since retiring he has written freelance stories and a weekly computer security column. Haring holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri.

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