How to read an ETF quote


When you request an ETF (exchange traded fund) quote on your online trading platform or from an exchange web site, you will be presented with information that tells you a lot about the ETF and how it’s trading that day, as well as other features of the ETF, like dividend yield. The quote you will see contains the same information you would see in a quote for a common stock.

An ETF quote consists of the following important components:

Last

This is the price at which the last trade on the ETF occurred.

Bid and ask

The bid is the highest price currently being offered by a market participant to buy the ETF.

The ask is the lowest price at which any market participant is willing to sell the ETF.

The difference between the bid and the ask price is called the “spread.”

Bid and ask sizes

The size of the bid or the ask is simply the number of shares that are available at that time at the prevailing bid and ask prices.

Volume

The number of the ETF’s shares that have been traded so far on that trading day. ETFs trading at high volumes are said to be highly liquid – in other words, they are easier to trade because more shares are changing hands.

Change

This shows you the change in the ETF’s price on that trading day, either by dollar amount or percentage.

High and low

The highest and lowest prices paid for the ETF so far on that trading day.

52-week high and low

The highest and lowest prices that have been paid for the ETF in the last 52 weeks.

Open

The price at which the first trade of the day was executed.

Previous close

The price at which the last trade on the previous trading day happened.

Dividend

The annual amount of the dividend paid out to holders of the ETF.

Yield

This measures the ratio of the dividend to the ETF’s price, and is expressed as a percentage. The dividend yield is determined by dividing the annual per-share dividend by the current share price of the ETF.

Ex-dividend date

Shareholders who purchased the ETF before this date will receive the dividend for that dividend period. Shareholders who bought the ETF on or after the ex-dividend date will not.

Shares outstanding

The number of shares issued by the ETF’s provider (the company that created it).