One important factor investors need to be aware of when buying stocks is the bid price for shares. The bid price and the bid size of a stock are two components of investing and stock trading that will give investors an idea of what the market demand and sentiment is about a particular stock at that moment.
What is Bid Price?
A bid price is the maximum price, at that moment, an investor is willing to purchase shares of a specific stock. A stock's bid price can change instantaneously depending on the trading volume and liquidity of the stock.
What is Bid Size
The bid size is the maximum quantity of shares for an individual order an investor is willing to buy of a stock or security. Investors need to be aware of the correlation between the bid size and the bid price since a transaction may only have enough shares available at a certain price to be able to fill a portion of an order. There may be shares available at higher prices that investors may have to pay more to buy.
The margin between the bid price and the ask price is known as the bid-ask spread. Stocks that are widely traded, or more liquid, will usually have a lower bid-ask spread. A bigger spread between the bid and ask prices means that a stock is less liquid and buyers and sellers may find it more difficult to find a counterparty for their trades unless they are willing to adjust their orders. For investors using market orders instead of limit orders, a trade could end up costing more because in order to fill the bid size, the investor will have to raise their bid price.
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