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Definition of Prices

Prices Image 1


Price of a share of common stock on the date shown. Highs and lows are based on the highest and
lowest intraday trading price.

Related Terms:

Market prices

The amount of money that a willing buyer pays to acquire something from a willing seller,
when a buyer and seller are independent and when such an exchange is motivated by only commercial


An inventory valuation method in which a company values the items in its ending inventory based
on the specific invoices on which they were bought.


One who uses statistical information to evaluate the probability of future events and prices insurance products.

Agency basis

A means of compensating the broker of a program trade solely on the basis of commission
established through bids submitted by various brokerage firms. agency incentive arrangement. A means of
compensating the broker of a program trade using benchmark prices for issues to be traded in determining
commissions or fees.

American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)

Certificates issued by a U.S. depositary bank, representing foreign
shares held by the bank, usually by a branch or correspondent in the country of issue. One ADR may
represent a portion of a foreign share, one share or a bundle of shares of a foreign corporation. If the ADR's
are "sponsored," the corporation provides financial information and other assistance to the bank and may
subsidize the administration of the ADRs. "Unsponsored" ADRs do not receive such assistance. ADRs carry
the same currency, political and economic risks as the underlying foreign share; the prices of the two, adjusted for the SDR/ordinary ratio, are kept essentially identical by arbitrage. American depositary shares(ADSs) are
a similar form of certification.


The simultaneous buying and selling of a security at two different prices in two different markets,
resulting in profits without risk. Perfectly efficient markets present no arbitrage opportunities. Perfectly
efficient markets seldom exist.


Transactions designed to make a sure profit from inconsistent prices.

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An arithmetic mean of selected stocks intended to represent the behavior of the market or some
component of it. One good example is the widely quoted Dow Jones Industrial Average, which adds the
current prices of the 30 DJIA's stocks, and divides the results by a predetermined number, the divisor.


1) When bond yields and prices fall, the market is said to back-up.
2) When an investor swaps out of one security into another of shorter current maturity he is said to back up.


A market condition in which futures prices are lower in the distant delivery months than in
the nearest delivery month. This situation may occur in when the costs of storing the product until eventual
delivery are effectively subtracted from the price today. The opposite of contango.


An investor who believes a stock or the overall market will decline. A bear market is a prolonged period
of falling stock prices, usually by 20% or more. Related: bull.

Bear market

Any market in which prices are in a declining trend.

bear market

A market in which stock or bond prices are generally

Bear Market

A prolonged period of falling stock market prices.

Bear raid

A situation in which large traders sell positions with the intention of driving prices down.


spread The difference between the bid and asked prices.

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Binomial model

A method of pricing options or other equity derivatives in
which the probability over time of each possible price follows a binomial
distribution. The basic assumption is that prices can move to only two values
(one higher and one lower) over any short time period.

Bond points

A conventional unit of measure for bond prices set at $10 and equivalent to 1% of the $100 face
value of the bond. A price of 80 means that the bond is selling at 80% of its face, or par value.

Bubble theory

Security prices sometimes move wildly above their true values.

Bull market

Any market in which prices are in an upward trend.

bull market

A market in which stock or bond prices are generally rising.

Bull Market

A prolonged period of rising stock market prices.

charge-back system

a system using transfer prices; see transfer

Closing range

Also known as the range. The high and low prices, or bids and offers, recorded during the
period designated as the official close. Related: settlement price.

confrontation strategy

an organizational strategy in which company management decides to confront, rather than avoid, competition; an organizational strategy in which company management still attempts to differentiate company
products through new features or to develop a price
leadership position by dropping prices, even though management
recognizes that competitors will rapidly bring out
similar products and match price changes; an organizational
strategy in which company management identifies
and exploits current opportunities for competitive advantage
in recognition of the fact that those opportunities will
soon be eliminated

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

The CPI, as it is called, measures the prices of consumer goods and services and is a
measure of the pace of U.S. inflation. The U.S.Department of Labor publishes the CPI very month.


A market condition in which futures prices are higher in the distant delivery months.

Prices Image 4

Current Dollars

A variable like GDP is measured in current dollars if each year's value is measured in prices prevailing during that year. In contrast, when measured in real or constant dollars, each year's value is measured in a base year's prices.

Dollar bonds

Municipal revenue bonds for which quotes are given in dollar prices. Not to be confused with
"U.S. Dollar" bonds, a common term of reference in the Eurobond market.


selling products abroad at lower prices than those
charged in the home country or in other national markets

Earnings surprises

Positive or negative differences from the consensus forecast of earnings by institutions
such as First Call or IBES. Negative earnings surprises generally have a greater adverse affect on stock prices
than the reciprocal positive earnings surprise on stock prices.

Efficient capital market

A market in which new information is very quickly reflected accurately in share

efficient capital markets

Financial markets in which security prices rapidly reflect all relevant information about asset values.

Efficient Market Hypothesis

In general the hypothesis states that all relevant information is fully and
immediately reflected in a security's market price thereby assuming that an investor will obtain an equilibrium
rate of return. In other words, an investor should not expect to earn an abnormal return (above the market
return) through either technical analysis or fundamental analysis. Three forms of efficient market hypothesis
exist: weak form (stock prices reflect all information of past prices), semi-strong form (stock prices reflect all
publicly available information) and strong form (stock prices reflect all relevant information including insider

Event study

A statistical study that examines how the release of information affects prices at a particular time.

Flexible budget

A method of budgetary control that flexes, i.e. adjusts the original budget by applying standard
prices and costs per unit to the actual production volume.

Foreign exchange dealer

A firm or individual that buys foreign exchange from one party and then sells it to
another party. The dealer makes the difference between the buying and selling prices, or spread.

Index arbitrage

An investment/trading strategy that exploits divergences between actual and theoretical
futures prices.


The rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising.


Rate at which prices as a whole are increasing.

Informational efficiency

The speed and accuracy with which prices reflect new information.

Ito process

Statistical assumptions about the behavior of security prices. For
details, see the book by Hull listed in the “Bibliography”.


Theory that says a country's trade deficit will initially worsen after its currency depreciates because
higher prices on foreign imports will more than offset the reduced volume of imports in the short-run.

law of one price

Theory that prices of goods in all countries should be equal when translated to a common currency.

Liquidation Value

The net proceeds (after taxes and expenses) of selling the assets
of a company at fair market prices

Make a market

A dealer is said to make a market when he quotes bid and offered prices at which he stands
ready to buy and sell.

Management accounting

The production of financial and non-financial information used in planning for the future; making decisions about products, services, prices and what costs to incur; and ensuring that plans are implemented and achieved.

mark to market

Refers to the accounting method that records increases
and decreases in assets based on changes in their market values. For
example, mutual funds revalue their securities portfolios every day based
on closing prices on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. Generally
speaking, however, businesses do not use the mark-to-market method
to write up the value of their assets. A business, for instance, does not
revalue its fixed assets (buildings, machines, equipment, etc.) at the end
of each period—even though the replacement values of these assets fluctuate
over time. Having made this general comment, I should mention
that accounts receivable are written down to recognize bad debts, and a
business’s inventories asset account is written down to recognize stolen
and damaged goods as well as products that will be sold below cost. If
certain of a business’s long-term operating assets become impaired and
will not have productive utility in the future consistent with their book
values, then the assets are written off or written down, which can result
in recording a large extraordinary loss in the period.

Market Mechanism

The system whereby using prices, the interaction of supply and demand allocates inputs and distributes outputs.

Marketplace price efficiency

The degree to which the prices of assets reflect the available marketplace
information. Marketplace price efficiency is sometimes estimated as the difficulty faced by active
management of earning a greater return than passive management would, after adjusting for the risk
associated with a strategy and the transactions costs associated with implementing a strategy.


the period after an announcement of a takeover bid in which stock prices typically rise until a merger or acquisition is made (or until it falls through).

material yield variance

(standard mix X actual quantity X standard price) - (standard mix X standard quantity X standard price);
it computes the difference between the
actual total quantity of input and the standard total quantity
allowed based on output and uses standard mix and
standard prices to determine variance

Menu Costs

The costs to firms of changing their prices.

Moving average

Used in charts and technical analysis, the average of security or commodity prices
constructed in a period as short as a few days or as Long as several years and showing trends for the latest
interval. As each new variable is included in calculating the average, the last variable of the series is deleted.

Moving average

A price average that is adjusted by adding other
parametrically determined prices over some time period.

Moving-averages chart

A financial chart that plots leading and lagging
moving averages for prices or values of an asset.

New Classicals

Economists who, like classical economists, believe that wages and prices are sufficiently flexible to solve the unemployment problem without help from government policy.

New Keynesians

Economists who, like Keynes, believe that for good reason wages and prices are sticky and so prolong recessions, suggesting a need for government policy.

One man picture

The picture quoted by a broker is said to be a one-man picture if both the bid and offered
prices come from the same source.


Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, a group of oil exporters that brought about the dramatic increases in oil prices during the 1970s.

Open-market purchase operation

A systematic program of repurchasing shares of stock in market
transactions at current market prices, in competition with other prospective investors.

Open position

A net long or short position whose value will change with a change in prices.

Opening price

The range of prices at which the first bids and offers were made or first transactions were

Overbought/oversold indicator

An indicator that attempts to define when prices have moved too far and too
fast in either direction and thus are vulnerable to reaction.

Overreaction hypothesis

The supposition that investors overreact to unanticipated news, resulting in
exaggerated movement in stock prices followed by corrections.

Path dependent option

An option whose value depends on the sequence of prices of the underlying asset
rather than just the final price of the asset.

Perfectly competitive financial markets

Markets in which no trader has the power to change the price of
goods or services. Perfect capital markets are characterized by the following conditions: 1) trading is costless,
and access to the financial markets is free, 2) information about borrowing and lending opportunities is freely
available, 3) there are many traders, and no single trader can have a significant impact on market prices.


The bid and asked prices quoted by a broker for a given security.

Posttrade benchmarks

prices after the decision to trade.

Pre-trade benchmarks

prices occurring before or at the decision to trade.

Price discovery process

The process of determining the prices of the assets in the marketplace through the
interactions of buyers and sellers.

Price Flexibility

Ease with which prices adjust in response to excess supply or demand.

Price Level

A weighted average of prices of all goods and services where the weights are given by total spending on each good or service. Measured by a price index.

Price-specie-flow mechanism

Adjustment mechanism under the classical gold standard whereby
disturbances in the price level in one country would be wholly or partly offset by a countervailing flow of
specie (gold coins) that would act to equalize prices across countries and automatically bring international
payments back in balance.

Price Stickiness

Resistance of prices to change.

Price takers

Individuals who respond to rates and prices by acting as though they have no influence on them.

Price-volume relationship

A relationship espoused by some technical analysts that signals continuing rises
and falls in security prices based on accompanying changes in volume traded.

Pricing efficiency

Also called external efficiency, a market characteristic where prices at all times fully
reflect all available information that is relevant to the valuation of securities.


The bid and offered prices a dealer is willing to buy or sell at.

Rally (recovery)

An upward movement of prices. Opposite of reaction.

random walk theory

Security prices change randomly, with no predictable trends or patterns.


The high and low prices, or high and low bids and offers recorded during a specified time.


A decline in prices following an advance. Opposite of rally.

Real market

The bid and offer prices at which a dealer could do "size." Quotes in the brokers market may
reflect not the real market, but pictures painted by dealers playing trading games.

Real time

A real time stock or bond quote is one that states a security's most recent offer to sell or bid (buy).
A delayed quote shows the same bid and ask prices 15 minutes and sometimes 20 minutes after a trade takes place.

Replacement Value

The amount necessary to duplicate a company's assets at current
market prices

revenue center

a responsibility center for which a manager is accountable only for the generation of revenues and has no control over setting selling prices, or budgeting or incurring costs

Sales mix

The mix of product/services offered by the business, each of which may be aimed at different customers, with each product/service having different prices and costs.

Section 482

United States Department of Treasury regulations governing transfer prices.

semi-strong-form efficiency

Market prices reflect all publicly available information.

Settlement price

A figure determined by the closing range which is used to calculate gains and losses in
futures market accounts. Settlement prices are used to determine gains, losses, margin calls, and invoice
prices for deliveries. Related: closing range.

Short squeeze

A situation in which a lack of supply tends to force prices upward.

Spot futures parity theorem

Describes the theoretically correct relationship between spot and futures prices.
Violation of the parity relationship gives rise to arbitrage opportunities.


1) The gap between bid and ask prices of a stock or other security.
2) The simultaneous purchase and sale of separate futures or options contracts for the same commodity for delivery in different months.
Also known as a straddle.
3) Difference between the price at which an underwriter buys an issue from a firm
and the price at which the underwriter sells it to the public.
4) The price an issuer pays above a benchmark fixed-income yield to borrow money.


For options, a combination of call or put options on the same stock
with differing exercise prices or maturity dates.

standard cost card

a document that summarizes the direct
material, direct labor, and overhead standard quantities and
prices needed to complete one unit of product

Stock split

Occurs when a firm issues new shares of stock but in turn lowers the current market price of its
stock to a level that is proportionate to pre-split prices. For example, if IBM trades at $100 before a 2-for-1
split, after the split it will trade at $50 and holders of the stock will have twice as many shares than they had
before the split. See: split.

strong-form efficiency

Market prices rapidly reflect all information that could in principle be used to determine true value.

Taking a view

A London expression for forming an opinion as to where market prices are headed and acting on it.







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