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Also know as a stock symbol or ticker symbol.

What is a ticker?

A ticker is a symbol representing a fund or a company's stock on an exchange. The ticker can be the most dependable way to identify a security because it is less likely to change than a security name.

  • The length of a ticker will depend on the stock exchange it is listed on.
  • Tickers can communicate share class, bankruptcy status, and other information through special codes appended to the company’s base symbol.

A ticker is a symbol unique to each stock on an exchange, differing in length depending on which exchange it is listed with. Ticker symbols for companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange are up to three letters long, while companies traded on the Nasdaq commonly consist of four letters, or five when special codes are included.

By appending special codes, also known as fifth-letter codes, to the end of the ticker symbol, Nasdaq communicates additional information to investors. For example, the ticker symbol for the Class A shares of J.M. Smucker is SMJ.A. Tickers can identify a company’s bankruptcy status with a Q, and an X indicates a mutual fund. Preferred stock tickers use P for the fifth letter. Nasdaq Trader provides a list of all fifth character symbols.