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An arrangement of characters, typically letters, used to identify publicly traded securities on an exchange is known as a stock symbol.

A corporation chooses an available symbol for its shares when it issues securities to the public market; this symbol is frequently connected to the company name.

The symbol is used by traders and investors to place trade orders. Stock symbols with additional letters appended to them signify additional traits like share class or trading limitations.

When modern stock exchanges first emerged in the 1800s, floor dealers had to announce or write down the whole name of the company to convey the stock price of a traded company.

They soon discovered that this procedure was time-consuming and slowed down the information queue, unable to keep up with frequently changing prices, as the number of publicly traded companies increased from dozens to hundreds—especially after the invention of the stock-quoting ticker tape machine in 1867.

Particularly if the company has more than one class of shares trading in the market, some stock symbols let investors know whether the shares of a corporation have voting rights. For instance, Alphabet Inc. (previously Google) trades two classes of shares under the stock tickers GOOG and GOOGL on the Nasdaq.

Since GOOG shares are Class C shares and have no voting rights, but GOOGL shares are Class A shares and have one vote apiece, common shareholders of GOOG do not have any voting rights.




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