In Stock market terminology, the term Stock Symbol refers to the acronym assigned to a company’s stock under which their stock is traded on an exchange. Symbols for New York and American Stock Exchange stocks consist of three letters, while stocks listed on the Nasdaq market have four letters.
For example, all companies that have publicly traded stock will have their own unique Stock Symbol, like International Business Machines has the three-letter symbol of IBM. When the acronym appears on a moving stock ticker, it is typically followed by a number which indicates the price of the last sale. Companies which trade on the Nasdaq market will appear with four letters like Microsoft which has the four-letter Stock Symbol MSFT. As in the previous IBM example, a separate moving ticker is usually available for Nasdaq stocks, and the last sale price appears after the Stock Symbol. Stocks with five letter acronyms typically come from the Pink Sheets. The Pink Sheets specialize in penny stocks.