Dr. Sarah's Stock Market Homework - 1 Per Person
Purpose: To learn about the stock market market, continue to learn
about advance searches on the web, and transition from
Financial Mathematics to Statistics, our next segment.
Open up a web browser and go to the class highlights page and then
this stock market homework.
http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=msft&d=b. Skim over this page.
At the top of the table, you will see
MICROSOFT CP (NasdaqNM:MSFT) - More Info: News , Msgs , Profile , Research ,
Insider , Options
Click on Profile and skim this page.
What is Bill Gates' salary?
Hit the "Back" key and then click on Research and skim this page.
Under Earnings History, in Jun. 2000 the earnings estimate
as .41 per share, while the actual earnings were .44.
Figure out how the % Surprise was calculated, and show your work
Finding Stocks with Appalachian in the Name
Type in or click
Type Appalachian and then hit Lookup so that yahoo can return
stocks which have Appalachian in the name.
Click on AJA (Appalachian Power Company) and then click on
Chart, located just under More Info in the table.
Notice that this offers much less info than Microsoft.
In fact, there is no profile which describes the company.
To find out more info, type in or click on
Under Search for: Type in the following exactly as you see it:
AppalachianHow many pages of links does altavista find?
Now search with +"Appalachian Power Company" +AJA
Recall that quotes tell the search engine to find pages
with that phrase in it, while + is used to tell it to find that
word in it. Hit the Search Button.
How many documents did AltaVista find matching our query?
Next search with
+"Appalachian Power" +AJA
(notice that I took off the word company).
How many web pages does Altavista bring up now?
Click on StockMaster.com Chart for Appalachian Power 8% Jr Debs.
Above the table, you will see
For AJA: Quote & Chart - Guru Analysis - News - Profile -
Financials - SEC - Earnings History - Message Board - Baseline Report.
Click on Profile. You can read about the company.
The point of
this exercise is to show that a small difference in wording can
make a big difference in searching, to show that sometimes
creative searching is needed to find reasonable info on the web,
and to give you the tools
needed to do advanced searches on your own.
Finding a Stock to "Buy" and Track
Find a stock that you are interested in "buying" and tracking.
You must pick
a stock that is actively traded day-to-day,
something other than MSFT (which I will track)
and it must be a stock with a name containing 1,2, 3 or 4 symbols
(ie A, AB, ABC, or ABCD).
Here are a couple of other places to look for stocks
(that last letter is the letter "l" not the number 1)
What is your stock symbol name?
What does this symbol stand for?
Tip - when on a stock page,
hit Reload to update the pages, which change every 20 minutes or so.
Total "Purchase" Price
In the table of the stock, you may see Bid and Ask.
Bid is the selling price, and Ask is the asking price that you
must purchase at.
For example, on Friday, MSFT's Ask price at the time that
I "purchased" was 61 13/16.
What is your Ask price?
Note that if the market is closed, or if
your stock does not have 4 letters, then you may see n/a next
to bid and ask. Each stock does have bid/ask
prices, but only the Nasdaq stocks are publicly available
(you could get the others by having an account at e-trade, or
by asking a stock broker, but that is too complicated for now.)
Note that the Ask price is a price per share. We will "buy" 100 shares,
so multiply your Ask price by 100.
What is this amount of money?
So, if you have less than 4 letters in your stock's name,
then take the current price and write that down here.
Your bid price will be the current price -1/8, while your
ask price will be the current price +1/8, so now fill in your ask
There is even a company (called NITE)
that makes money off the difference between the bid and ask price!
But this isn't the total cost, since we must also pay a commission
fee. The following is from e-trade.
What is the total cost of purchasing your stock (
Ask price x 100 + commision fee)
Nasdaq (4 symbol name): 19.95
Other: 1, 2 or 3 symbols: 14.95
You pay these fees each time you buy or sell.
They may seem high, but standard commission fees
were a couple of hundred dollars before the (relatively recent)
advent of internet trading sites.
Reading and Posting on the WebCT Bulletin Board
WebCT using your login and password (both are the same).
Click on Bulletin Board.
If you have a lot of messages show up, then that means that
you have not been keeping up with the bulletin board, so
click on Catch Up All, and then OK. Click on Forum, then
stock market (from the bottom).
It should say
Forum: stock market Show: Unread
Click on Show All and read the message entitled
Dr. Sarah MSFT.
No unread messages found
Click on blue, underlined WebCt Home and then click back into
It should say
Forum: All Show: Unread
Above the Subject Line, you will see Forum
No unread messages found
Change the Forum from Main to stock market
As a subject, enter your name and stock symbol.
Type a message similar to my MSFT message. Your message
should include your stock and a brief description,
and your work done to calculate your total "purchase" price.
You should check and read all new bulletin board messages
at least twice every week
Homework and Following your Stock
Read pages 121 - 128 in the textbook and use the information that you've
learned to do more research on your stock.
Follow your stock a couple of times
during the week. You will be assigned more
homework on Tuesday.