How to Read a Stock Chart's Volume

by Ryan Menezes

A stock's volume describes the number of its shares that investors exchange within a period. A notably high volume for a particular stock corresponds with a high conviction among investors, which means that many people are interested in trading the stock. Any sudden change in a stock's volume suggests a significant company development, either positive or negative. The easiest way to find a stock's volume is to check an online stock chart, which displays visual data on trading volume and share price.

1. Navigate to a financial data website. Some choices include Google Finance, Yahoo Finance and the Wall Street Journal's Big Charts.

2. Type your stock's symbol into the site's search box. For example, if you're checking General Motors' trading volume, type "GM" into the search box. The stock's page will load. It will include a stock quote and a pair of stock charts.

3. Select a time frame for the charts. For example, if you want to check the stock's trading volume for different days in the month, click on the link for "1M."

4. Click the link for "Interactive chart."

5. Identify the volume chart. The volume chart is a bar chart and is usually the lower of the two charts.

6. Place your cursor over the volume chart's bar for a specific time. The chart will display the stock's volume. For example, if you place your cursor over the "Feb 17, 2012" bar for General Motors, the chart will display the stock's volume as 2,449,100 on that day.

About the Author

Ryan Menezes is a professional writer and blogger. He has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Boston University and has written for the American Civil Liberties Union, the marketing firm InSegment and the project management service Assembla. He is also a member of Mensa and the American Parliamentary Debate Association.

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