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Discussion Starter #1
Forgive my newbie questions but in Questrade i can see a lot of details including previous close and earnings (to mention a couple) but what i'd like to know is if there is a way to see how many shares are available to be purchased at any given time.

My thinking is if i see the stock is +10% from the previous close i would like to see how many shares are out there available to be purchased.

I can see in XSP.TO for example
Vol shows 1.23M
Avg vol 1.17M
Shares 174.7M

Does that mean that there are 174.7 Million shares available in TOTAL and currently 1.23 Million have been purchased (meaning 173 Million still available to be purchased)?

Thanks in advance
 

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The 174.7M is called the "float". It's the number of shares in circulation. When shares are purchased, they simply change hands from one person to another. They aren't 'consumables' in the sense that once they are bought they vanish, like toilet-paper rolls (although for some stocks the metaphor is valid). The quantity of shares out there stays the same. Unless more are re-issued or bought back.

How many shares are available for purchase? Theoretically the entire float if you were a billionaire with deep pockets. You can offer to buy 'em all. In practice, this wouldn't happen. It would be seen as a takeover attempt and the ask price would skyrocket.

You don't need to concern yourself with how many shares are available. The market makers guarantee liquidity. The real question is... what can YOU afford to buy?
 

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The number of shares available is simply the number of shares someone is willing to sell you.
Remember, on top of the major stock market exchanges, any number of other things are available as well.

You could buy stock in my company, if you were willing to pay enough.
 

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Vol shows 1.23M
Avg vol 1.17M
Shares 174.7M
To address your specific example, the first line says how many shares have traded today.
The second line tells you many trade in an average day.
As the others have said, the third line shows you the total float — the maximum number of shares theoretically available.

As for how many are actually available, that’s trickier.
The ask price should show you how many shares are available at the current lowest price.
Level II quotes, if you have access to them, will show you the volumes available at higher and higher prices.

But even that won’t tell you the whole story. There are market makers and iceberg orders and dark pools, all of which represent hidden liquidity, often substantial.

If you offer $1,000 a share for XSP, you will suddenly find millions of shares are available for purchase at that price!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks EVERYONE, this explains things better.
I only have level 1 data so my hands are a little tied until i can justify the upgrade.

Currently the xsp.to is showing a bid of 30.65 with a Sz (size i assume) of 360. Does this mean that 360 (million???) shares are available for purchase at the price of 30.65?
The Volume indicator on my chart is showing 200.00 (which i assume is 200 million and the amt of shares that traded hands during that particular time period correct? )

If the current price is 30.67/share it would be nice to know how many shares are available for sale (in total) so I can see if there are a lot of shares available vs only a few. A lot of shares would tell me my purchase would make little difference to the group on a whole whereas if there are only a few left my purchase or sell might impact what the group does moving forward. (i realize in this case - xsp.to there are so many shares available this exercise isn't practical but for stocks with smaller volumes this would be nice to know).

Am i out to lunch with this reasoning?

thanks in advance.
 

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If you are buying a big liquid etf like this, I wouldn't worry too much about how many bids/asks you see on the level 1 quotes. Just place a limit order at a price you are willing pay (below the ask) and it will likely get filled as the market price moves. Just one thing to look for (and this is more important) is that there is not a big spread/difference between the bid and the ask, and that they are not far from the Net Asset Value per unit (you can find this on the fund website for the previous market close). The number of bids/asks is a bit misleading anyway. It's really only important if you are placing market orders, which is generally a bad idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Andrew, this is opening up more questions then it is answering ha.
as far as a market order being a bad idea - i am confused. If i see the stock is running up and i want to buy in my only option is a market order buy otherwise i will miss the opportunity. If it's on a run up and currently at $20/share and rising i will miss this run if i put a limit order to buy at $15 and wait for it to go down to this level. Do you mind sharing your mindset with me on this?
 

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Size is listed in "lots" of 100 units. So 360 = 36,000 units. But even that is number of units listed now at the asking price. There may be more units available at higher prices, and with ETFs, if your bid price is high enough a market maker or authorized participant may create more units from the ETF's underlying holdings (note this creation process works with ETFs, but not with stock shares since they have a limited float of existing shares and new shares must be issued by the company).

As mentioned upthread, level 2 quotes would give you more insight into number of units available at different prices.

As far as what price to bid, if you think the ask price is fair and you want your order to fill, put in a limit order at the asking price or 1 cent higher. If the asking price is $30.65 and you bid $30.66, your order will fill at $30.65 if enough units are available at that price. Orders fill at the asking price, not your bid price if it is higher. The extra cent just gives a cushion if the price moves up a bit.

Your example of entering an order with a bid price of $15 when the ask price is $20 is known as a "stink bid". Likely won't fill, but you could put in a limit price of $15 with a good till date in the future hoping the price will fall. Not a great tatic with high volume ETFs that are not volatile (but the past 2 months indicate it could happen). It's a better tactic with stocks, especially small volatile stocks that are harder to value. An ETF order 25% below market price would most likely expire without ever filling.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Is it my imagination or do people tend to sell off at about 1- 2pm each day - is everyone concerned about losing their daily/ weekly gains by doing this or am I misreading what the charts are saying to me?

HAL dropped around 1:30pm
SLB dropped around 1:30pm
PBF dropped around 1:40pm
OXY dropped around 1:35pm

Not sure what to make of this pattern. Anomaly or consistent mindset of the players in the market?
 

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If you are buying a big liquid etf like this, I wouldn't worry too much about how many bids/asks you see on the level 1 quotes. Just place a limit order at a price you are willing pay (below the ask) and it will likely get filled as the market price moves.
Exactly. For ETF's, especially index varieties, you don't require level 2. They are quite liquid and the bid/ask spread is almost zero. Put in a reasonable limit order and the market maker will make you happy.

ltr
 

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How many shares are you buying or selling? If you are dealing in 100 share lots does it really matter if the daily volume is 1,170,000 or 1,230,000? Unless you are a hedge fund dealing in lots of 500,000 at a time your order is a drop in the bucket and no one will even notice it.

If you were looking at a penny stock with an over the counter volume of 5000 shares a day I would advise you to go and look at something more liquid, less volatile and less likely to be manipulated but for any stock listed on a major exchange you are not going to have a problem.
 

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Is it my imagination or do people tend to sell off at about 1- 2pm each day - is everyone concerned about losing their daily/ weekly gains by doing this or am I misreading what the charts are saying to me?

HAL dropped around 1:30pm
SLB dropped around 1:30pm
PBF dropped around 1:40pm
OXY dropped around 1:35pm

Not sure what to make of this pattern. Anomaly or consistent mindset of the players in the market?
I believe the drop occurred when news broke of the OPEC-Russia deal to cut production. The market dropped because the cut was less than some expected/hoped for.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I wasn’t aware of this, where can I get this type of news to stay current- updated of events? Everything I saw online seemed to be dated?
 
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