A financial quotation refers to specific market data relating to a security or commodity. While the term quote specifically refers to the bid price or ask price of an instrument, it may be more generically used to relate to the last price which the security traded at (“last sale”). This may refer to both exchange-traded and over-the-counter financial instruments.
Bid and Ask
The bid price (also known as the buy price) and the ask price (also known as the sell price) of a security are the prices (and often quantities) at which buyers and sellers are willing to purchase or sell that security. The bid shows the current price at which a buyer is willing to purchase shares, while the ask shows the current price at which they are willing to sell. The quantities at which these trades are placed are referred to as “bid size” and “ask size.” For instance, if a trader submits a limit order to buy 1000 shares of MSFT at $28.00, this order will appear in a market maker for MSFT’s book with a bid of $28.00 and a bid size of 10.