With so many publicly traded companies out there to be invested in, each has to have its own unique way of being distinguished from another. Just like a social security number, all company stocks are given what are called ticker symbols to represent their identity amongst Wall Street.
Ticker symbols of companies listed and traded on the NYSE have up to three letters in as their symbol, where as Nasdaq listed stocks have up to four letters.
Some example stock tickers:
- Google - GOOG
- Disney - DIS
- Microsoft - MSFT
- Exxon Mobil - XOM
- Apple - AAPL
Some extra notes, companies listed in for instance Canada have symbols with a .ca attached to them to distinguish themselves. There are also companies that are traded as pink sheets, which are given a .pk attached to their stock symbols and are listed as such because they do not meet the minimum requirements of the SEC, or simply have not registered with the SEC.