Stock market quotes are important for investors to know how much a stock is being bought or sold for on the stock market. In the absence of this information, it would be near impossible for investors trading stocks to buy and sell. Being able to see a stock pick’s bid/ask price is what makes investing in shares possible. If you had to call up your broker by phone to place and order, it would be very time consuming and you may miss out on many opportunities to get in or out at the right time. There would also be the possibility that a broker becomes inundated with calls and cannot answer to everyone. This could mean that you will have no access to trading on the market.
Stock exchanges around the world provide important stock market quotes for investors in the stock market today. The information on share prices is passed on to Electronic Communication networks, which allow investors to see the stock’s price. Some ECNs can provide quotes from different systems, allowing more chances to sell or buy with other market participants. Technical analysis of a stock would become extremely hard to perform since it looks at price and volume movements. Without stock charts detailing a company’s share price history, technical analysis would become less effective in predicting future movements.
When investors are stock picking, they need to know what the price is so they can trade it effectively. Trading styles like scalping, shaving or swing trading would become useless since they all require information on the Bid/Ask to work effectively. Stock market quotes did not always exist as we see it today. In the past, investors were unable to tell how the market moved on a day to day basis. They could not tell if it was in an uptrend, down trend or sideways trend. They normally invested in bonds as a way to make money, as the stock markets were not held in high regard. As time went on, the different indexes started to add more information such as trading volumes and price movements.
Professional traders, who trade stocks for a living, or work with financial institutions, will have access to a dealing desk. This ensures that as soon as they give an order, it is executed immediately. Most normal traders have accounts that are directly connected to ECNs so that there are no delays on stock market quotes. Quotes can have delays of up to 15 minutes in some cases, depending on which system or ECN you are using. That is why it is important to ask your broker about the ECN they use to ensure timely information.