Interpreting Stock Quotes

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Lose your face: become capable of loving without remembering, without phantasm and without interpretation, without taking stock. Let there just be fluxes, which sometimes dry up, freeze or overflow, which sometimes combine or diverge.
Gilles Deleuze
Now the situation is different, I admit: I have a wristwatch, I compare the angle of its hands with the angle of all the hands I see; I have an engagement book where the hours of my business appointments are marked down; I have a chequebook on whose stubs I add and subtract numbers. At Penn Station I get off the train, I take the subway, I stand and grasp the strap with one hand to keep my balance while I hold the newspaper up in the other, folded so I can glance over the figures of the stock market quotations: I play the game, in other words, the game of pretending there's an order in the dust, a regularity in the system, or an interpretation of different systems, incongruous but still measurable, so that every graininess of disorder coincides with the faceting of an order which promptly crumbles.
Italo Calvino (The Complete Cosmicomics)
Cats catch mice, small birds and the like, very well. Teleology tells us that they do so because they were expressly constructed for so doing—that they are perfect mousing apparatuses, so perfect and so delicately adjusted that no one of their organs could be altered, without the change involving the alteration of all the rest. Darwinism affirms on the contrary, that there was no express construction concerned in the matter; but that among the multitudinous variations of the Feline stock, many of which died out from want of power to resist opposing influences, some, the cats, were better fitted to catch mice than others, whence they throve and persisted, in proportion to the advantage over their fellows thus offered to them. Far from imagining that cats exist 'in order' to catch mice well, Darwinism supposes that cats exist 'because' they catch mice well—mousing being not the end, but the condition, of their existence. And if the cat type has long persisted as we know it, the interpretation of the fact upon Darwinian principles would be, not that the cats have remained invariable, but that such varieties as have incessantly occurred have been, on the whole, less fitted to get on in the world than the existing stock.
Thomas Henry Huxley (Criticism on "The Origin of Species")
These men lived in a world where the meaning of words was fluid, where there were no absolutes. Everything was a matter of interpretation or opinion. Truth and fact mattered little to them. Power was their stock in trade and it was clear after the meeting that most of them didn’t care much how they acquired it.
David A. Wells (Thinblade (Sovereign of the Seven Isles, #1))
You have to understand accounting and you have to understand the nuances of accounting. It's the language of business and it's an imperfect language, but unless you are willing to put in the effort to learn accounting - how to read and interpret financial statements - you really shouldn't select stocks yourself. - Warren Buffett
Mary Buffett (Warren Buffett and the Interpretation of Financial Statements: The Search for the Company with a Durable Competitive Advantage)
But even though questions of currency policy are never more than questions of the value of money, they are sometimes disguised so that their true nature is hidden from the uninitiated. Public opinion is dominated by erroneous views on the nature of money and its value, and misunderstood slogans have to take the place of clear and precise ideas. The fine and complicated mechanism of the money and credit system is wrapped in obscurity, the proceedings on the Stock Exchange are a mystery, the function and significance of the banks elude interpretation. So it is not surprising that the arguments brought forward in the conflict of the different interests often missed the point altogether. Counsel was darkened with cryptic phrases whose meaning was probably hidden even from those who uttered them. Americans spoke of 'the dollar of our fathers' and Austrians of 'our dear old gulden note'; silver, the money of the common man, was set up against gold, the money of the aristocracy. Many a tribune of the people, in many a passionate discourse, sounded the loud praises of silver, which, hidden in deep mines, lay awaiting the time when it should come forth into the light of day to ransom miserable humanity, languishing in its wretchedness.
Ludwig von Mises (The Theory of Money and Credit (Liberty Fund Library of the Works of Ludwig von Mises))
The flat tire that threw Julio into a temporary panic and the divorce that almost killed Jim don’t act directly as physical causes producing a physical effect—as, for instance, one billiard ball hitting another and making it carom in a predictable direction. The outside event appears in consciousness purely as information, without necessarily having a positive or negative value attached to it. It is the self that interprets that raw information in the context of its own interests, and determines whether it is harmful or not. For instance, if Julio had had more money or some credit, his problem would have been perfectly innocuous. If in the past he had invested more psychic energy in making friends on the job, the flat tire would not have created panic, because he could have always asked one of his co-workers to give him a ride for a few days. And if he had had a stronger sense of self-confidence, the temporary setback would not have affected him as much because he would have trusted his ability to overcome it eventually. Similarly, if Jim had been more independent, the divorce would not have affected him as deeply. But at his age his goals must have still been bound up too closely with those of his mother and father, so that the split between them also split his sense of self. Had he had closer friends or a longer record of goals successfully achieved, his self would have had the strength to maintain its integrity. He was lucky that after the breakdown his parents realized the predicament and sought help for themselves and their son, reestablishing a stable enough relationship with Jim to allow him to go on with the task of building a sturdy self. Every piece of information we process gets evaluated for its bearing on the self. Does it threaten our goals, does it support them, or is it neutral? News of the fall of the stock market will upset the banker, but it might reinforce the sense of self of the political activist. A new piece of information will either create disorder in consciousness, by getting us all worked up to face the threat, or it will reinforce our goals, thereby freeing up psychic energy.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
But what is your own opinion? How long shall you march under another man’s orders? Take command, and utter some word which posterity will remember. Put forth something from your own stock. For this reason I hold that there is nothing of eminence in all such men as these, who never create anything themselves, but always lurk in the shadow of others, playing the rôle of interpreters, never daring to put once into practice what they have been so long in learning. They have exercised their memories on other men’s material. But it is one thing to remember, another to know. Remembering is merely safeguarding something entrusted to the memory; knowing, however, means making everything your own; it means not depending upon the copy and not all the time glancing back at the master.
Seneca (Letters from a Stoic)
Now I realize, of course, that not everyone accepts the Thomistic (or any other traditional) ontology, and that moreover a reductio to quantity constitutes in fact the definitive tendency of the modern age. One fact, however, is incontrovertible: as I have shown in The Quantum Enigma, it is possible to interpret all of physics—by virtue of its definitive modus operandi—in traditional (and thus non-Cartesian) terms, based precisely on a categorical distinction between the 'corporeal' (i.e., perceptible) and the 'physical' universe: the universe, namely, as conceived by the physicist. Everyone, of course, is free to disagree with the non-Cartesian interpretation of physics: what is NOT possible (by virtue of the above-said finding) is to do so on SCIENTIFIC ground. ("Taking Stock of a New Philosophy of Physics: The KKE Theory")
Wolfgang Smith (The Wisdom of Ancient Cosmology: Contemporary Science in Light of Tradition)
If the suffragists acquiesced to arguments invoking the extension of the ballot to women as the saving grace of white supremacy, then birth control advocates either acquiesced to or supported the new arguments invoking birth control as a means of preventing the proliferation of the “lower classes” and as an antidote to race suicide. Race suicide could be prevented by the introduction of birth control among Black people, immigrants and the poor in general. In this way, the prosperous whites of solid Yankee stock could maintain their superior numbers within the population. Thus class-bias and racism crept into the birth control movement when it was still in its infancy. More and more, it was assumed within birth control circles that poor women, Black and immigrant alike, had a “moral obligation to restrict the size of their families.” What was demanded as a “right” for the privileged came to be interpreted as a “duty” for the poor.
Angela Y. Davis (Women, Race & Class)
It was at this point that Waverhouse abandoned hope and accepted my master as dim beyond redemption. He fell unwontedly silent. My master, interpreting that silence as an admission of defeat, looks uncommonly pleased with himself. But in proportion to my master’s self-elation, Waverhouse’s assessment of the wretched man has dropped. In Waverhouse’s view my master’s fat-headed obstinacy has considerably lowered his value as a man. But in my master’s view his firmness of mind has, by a corresponding amount, lifted him above the level of such pifflers as poor Waverhouse. Such topsy-turveydoms are not unusual in this imperfect world. A man who sees himself as magnified by his display of determination is, in fact, dimnished in the public estimation by that demonstration of his crass willfulness. The strange thing is that, to his dying day, the mulish bigot regards his dull opiniatrety as somehow meritorious, a characteristic worthy to be honored. He never realizes that he has made himself a despised laughing stock, and that sensible people want nothing more to do with him. He has, in fact, achieved happiness.
Natsume Sōseki (I Am A Cat (Tuttle Classics))
It is challenging to honor the descent in a culture that primary values the ascent. We like things rising—stock markets, the GDP, profit margins. We get anxious when things go down. Even within psychology, there is a premise that is biased toward improvement, always getting better, rising above our troubles. We hold dear concepts like progress and integration. These are fine in and of themselves, but it is not the way psyche works. Psyche, we must remember, was shaped by and is rooted in the foundations of nature. As such, psyche also experiences times of decay and death, of stopping, regression, and being still. Much happens in these times that deepen the soul. When all we are shown is the imagery of ascent, we are left to interpret the times of descent as pathological; we feel that we are somehow failing. As poet and author Robert Bly wryly noted, “How can we get a look at the cinders side of things when the society is determined to create a world of shopping malls and entertainment complexes in which we are made to believe that there is no death, disfigurement, illness, insanity, lethargy, or misery? Disneyland means ‘no ashes.’ 
Francis Weller (The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief)
For years the financial services have been making stock-market forecasts without anyone taking this activity very seriously. Like everyone else in the field they are sometimes right and sometimes wrong. Wherever possible they hedge their opinions so as to avoid the risk of being proved completely wrong. (There is a well-developed art of Delphic phrasing that adjusts itself successfully to whatever the future brings.) In our view—perhaps a prejudiced one—this segment of their work has no real significance except for the light it throws on human nature in the securities markets. Nearly everyone interested in common stocks wants to be told by someone else what he thinks the market is going to do. The demand being there, it must be supplied. Their interpretations and forecasts of business conditions, of course, are much more authoritative and informing. These are an important part of the great body of economic intelligence which is spread continuously among buyers and sellers of securities and tends to create fairly rational prices for stocks and bonds under most circumstances. Undoubtedly the material published by the financial services adds to the store of information available and fortifies the investment judgment of their clients.
Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor)
A few years ago my friend Jon Brooks supplied this great illustration of skewed interpretation at work. Here’s how investors react to events when they’re feeling good about life (which usually means the market has been rising): Strong data: economy strengthening—stocks rally Weak data: Fed likely to ease—stocks rally Data as expected: low volatility—stocks rally Banks make $4 billion: business conditions favorable—stocks rally Banks lose $4 billion: bad news out of the way—stocks rally Oil spikes: growing global economy contributing to demand—stocks rally Oil drops: more purchasing power for the consumer—stocks rally Dollar plunges: great for exporters—stocks rally Dollar strengthens: great for companies that buy from abroad—stocks rally Inflation spikes: will cause assets to appreciate—stocks rally Inflation drops: improves quality of earnings—stocks rally Of course, the same behavior also applies in the opposite direction. When psychology is negative and markets have been falling for a while, everything is capable of being interpreted negatively. Strong economic data is seen as likely to make the Fed withdraw stimulus by raising interest rates, and weak data is taken to mean companies will have trouble meeting earnings forecasts. In other words, it’s not the data or events; it’s the interpretation. And that fluctuates with swings in psychology.
Howard Marks (Mastering The Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side)
The widely mis-interpreted 1998 'meltdown' of East Asia was a financial symptom of the renewed reality: In fact, it was the first round the world recession again to begin in East Asia and spread from there to the West, instead of vice versa. That marked the beginnings of the return back 360 degrees around the world of the world economic center to Asia where it had always been before those two eighty-year period of temporary Western ascendance. The stock market crash in Hong Kong and the devaluation of the Thai baht and the Indonesian rupia took only 80 seconds to make themselves felt in the London City and on New York's Wall Street. How much of a cultural lag do we still need for popular perception and social theory to catch up with global reality?
André Gunder Frank
If your needs are not attainable through safe instruments, the solution is not to increase the rate of return by upping the level of risk. Instead, goals may be revised, savings increased, or income boosted through added years of work. . . . Somebody has to care about the consequences if uncertainty is to be understood as risk. . . . As we’ve seen, the chances of loss do decline over time, but this hardly means that the odds are zero, or negligible, just because the horizon is long. . . . In fact, even though the odds of loss do fall over long periods, the size of potential losses gets larger, not smaller, over time. . . . The message to emerge from all this hype has been inescapable: In the long run, the stock market can only go up. Its ascent is inexorable and predictable. Long-term stock returns are seen as near certain while risks appear minimal, and only temporary. And the messaging has been effective: The familiar market propositions come across as bedrock fact. For the most part, the public views them as scientific truth, although this is hardly the case. It may surprise you, but all this confidence is rather new. Prevailing attitudes and behavior before the early 1980s were different. Fewer people owned stocks then, and the general popular attitude to buying stocks was wariness, not ebullience or complacency. . . . Unfortunately, the American public’s embrace of stocks is not at all related to the spread of sound knowledge. It’s useful to consider how the transition actually evolved—because the real story resists a triumphalist interpretation. . . . Excessive optimism helps explain the popularity of the stocks-for-the-long-run doctrine. The pseudo-factual statement that stocks always succeed in the long run provides an overconfident investor with more grist for the optimistic mill. . . . Speaking with the editors of in 2002, Kahneman explained: “When you are making a decision whether or not to go for something,” he said, “my guess is that knowing the odds won’t hurt you, if you’re brave. But when you are executing, not to be asking yourself at every moment in time whether you will succeed or not is certainly a good thing. . . . In many cases, what looks like risk-taking is not courage at all, it’s just unrealistic optimism. Courage is willingness to take the risk once you know the odds. Optimistic overconfidence means you are taking the risk because you don’t know the odds. It’s a big difference.” Optimism can be a great motivator. It helps especially when it comes to implementing plans. Although optimism is healthy, however, it’s not always appropriate. You would not want rose-colored glasses in a financial advisor, for instance. . . . Over the long haul, the more you are exposed to danger, the more likely it is to catch up with you. The odds don’t exactly add, but they do accumulate. . . . Yet, overriding this instinctive understanding, the prevailing investment dogma has argued just the reverse. The creed that stocks grow steadily safer over time has managed to trump our common-sense assumption by appealing to a different set of homespun precepts. Chief among these is a flawed surmise that, with the passage of time, downward fluctuations are balanced out by compensatory upward swings. Many people believe that each step backward will be offset by more than one step forward. The assumption is that you can own all the upside and none of the downside just by sticking around. . . . If you find yourself rejecting safe investments because they are not profitable enough, you are asking the wrong questions. If you spurn insurance simply because the premiums put a crimp in your returns, you may be destined for disappointment—and possibly loss.
Zvi Bodie
Each stock has a character driven by the type of investors, speculators and institutions it attracts. The same technicals don’t apply to all stocks. Keep the character of the traders and investors who are in a stock in mind before interpreting a chart. Two charts with exactly the same pattern may behave in very different ways depending on the character of their investors and traders.
Ashu Dutt (15 Easy Steps to Mastering Technical Charts)
Stocks that are in the hands of operators, on the other hand, will display very little reactions to good or bad news. That may be because the news itself is “planted” or is “motivated”. Such stocks will often defy gravity and their falls will defy reason. Chances that you are wrong in calling the direction in these stocks is high. That’s because the chart itself is “fixed”. It is fixed to get you to interpret it in copybook style and then trap you (and many others) to be on the wrong side and provide an exit for the operators with motivated reasons. Many stocks have only a few people driving them. A stock without a diversity of owners will always be subject to severe turbulence. And even if the overall direction is up, you will always be at a disadvantage because you don’t really know what this group driving the stock is thinking and will do next. That is why stocks with a large diversified investor and trader base which includes thousands of buyers every day don’t react erratically.
Ashu Dutt (15 Easy Steps to Mastering Technical Charts)
Invest where you have an edge through superior information. Consider the popular interpretation, but also variant perspectives. Estimate the value of stocks; don’t trade for other reasons. Try to look out as far into the future as possible. Be (calculatingly) bold. Minimize taxes, fees, and transaction costs; this is done most easily by trading infrequently. Above all, don’t underestimate your rivals. If you are average, don’t count on superior results.
Joel Tillinghast (Big Money Thinks Small: Biases, Blind Spots, and Smarter Investing (Columbia Business School Publishing))
The Northmen had a keen eye for psychological signs of mixed race; a saying often on their lips was: "Who is it you take after?" And we have no grounds for supposing that it was only the one side that counted. Thorolfs opponents, the Sons of Hilderid already mentioned, never got over the disability in their birth, that their mother was of an inferior stock to their father's; it was a fault plainly seen in every word they spoke, when they stole into the hall from behind as soon as Thorolf had strode out of the front, and explained and interpreted the action of their enemy, while Thorolf let his act carry its own interpretation. The sagas also have an argument, to the effect that a man's rascality is due to the mother's blood.
Vilhelm Grønbech (The Culture of the Teutons: Volumes 1 and 2)
We become servants of and prisoners to our stories. Given that our stories are efforts to interpret the world and make it more knowable and more manageable, we come to depend on them to carry us through ever new situations. The good news rising from our stories is that often our interpretive fiction allows us to build on our knowledge, bind our days together and have reasonably coherent personality. The bad news that those same stories also impose the paradigm, the limited and limiting lense of the former onto the immediacy of the new. Thus we create patterns, whether intended or not. And we become prisoners of what we depend upon. Even when we find our choices and their subsequent patterns problematic even destructive to us and others, we perpetuate them because they are familiar, perhaps at that hour they are the only way we can see the world. This leads to the repetition-compulsion which over the lifetime dots our histories with stock places, blockages and replicative reenactments. It is so hard for any of us to realize that we are not what happened to us. What happened to us was an external manifestation by fate, but our story about that is uniquely ours.
James Hollis
Human nature likes order; people find it hard to accept the notion of randomness. No matter what the laws of chance might tell us, we search for patterns among random events wherever they might occur—not only in the stock market but even in interpreting sporting phenomena.
Burton G. Malkiel (A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing)
The Romantic dream of an inner transformation that will make moral effort unnecessary is untrue both to the New Testament and to worldwide and millennia-long Christian experience. Romantics may suppose that they have been installed in a hotel where everything they want is brought by room service at the touch of a button, but in fact they inhabit a house with a well-stocked larder from which they must choose ingredients and do their own cooking. The point of virtue, in other words, is the recognition that there is such a thing as building up a habit of taking regular small decisions to be a certain type of person, so that gradually one becomes that type of person indeed.
N.T. Wright (Interpreting Scripture: Essays on the Bible and Hermeneutics (Collected Essays of N. T. Wright Book 1))
Livermore had no interest in tips, gossip, and the interpretation of the daily news events concerning the stock market".
Richard Smitten (Trade Like Jesse Livermore)
History, it is said, is written by the victors. In the late 1920s, Hayek claimed that monetary policy had taken the wrong course and predicted a deflationary bust. Irving Fisher, on the other hand, saw nothing wrong at the time with either America’s economy or its monetary policy, famously opining in the summer of 1929 that US stocks had reached a ‘permanently high plateau’. If accuracy of prediction is what matters for economic theory, as Milton Friedman later claimed, then Hayek’s interpretation should have become the received wisdom of his profession. Yet the Austrian’s interpretation of the 1920s and its aftermath has been more or less air-brushed from the history books, while Fisher’s monetarist view has become received wisdom.
Edward Chancellor (The Price of Time: The Real Story of Interest)
The aliens are using us, the argument goes, for their own purposes, replenishing their genetic stock at our expense after some sort of holocaust on their own planet. If they make us feel that there is something worthwhile about the whole process, this is the result of deception. I would not say that the aliens never resort to deception to hide their purposes, but the above argument is, in my view, too narrow or linear an interpretation.
John E. Mack (Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens)
The other recruits have been congratulating me, they wish they were in my shoes. But they never studied, never did anything, and you can’t go through life like that and expect it to throw you a bone. They’re all my age, more or less, and they think they still have a chance because that’s what they’ve been told, when self-evidently they have none. For a man, the margin between being drowned and saved is a narrow one, and usually occurs at an age—fourteen, maybe fifteen—when he is unaware of it, has no idea what is at stake, which explains why humanity is little more than an endless parade of the disappointed, of bastards being led to the stocks, living through day after day for no particular reason, watching in disbelief as their experience, I think, is no different from that of the rest of the species—growth and maturity, minor aches, major traumas, the gradual loss of physical faculties, gray hair and wrinkles, lameness, deafness, and ultimately decay and disgust. By eighteen, nineteen, twenty, a man is already irrevocably what he is, his path has already been traced, and he can do nothing to change it. It would be healthier if everyone optimized their lives based on the role assigned to them rather than spending time trying to transform themselves into something they can never become. I’m not saying it’s fair, but that’s how it is. The absurdity of life is not that it comes to an end. That it ends is, actually, less absurd than the preposterousness of it beginning. The absurdity of life is its uneven distribution, I think, the manifest internal imbalance of episodes, the uneven distribution of major events. Before the age of twenty, a transcendental maelstrom is continually bubbling, a stew that never ceases to reverberate, and we cannot digest everything that life serves up to us. There are constantly new signs to interpret, signals and feints flashing past, third and fourth dimensions. At twenty, at precisely twenty, everything is in place. After that, I think, comes a stretch of barren years: the thirties, the forties, the fifties, the sixties. Then, supposedly, man acquires wisdom. I can’t comment, since I haven’t reached that point, but I can’t help but wonder what purpose wisdom serves a man if all that he can do with it is look back on the things he didn’t do before he had that wisdom, and torment himself with all the things he might have done if he’d had it. In the end, the whole thing is a waste, if not of time, then of incidents that, before twenty, come so thick and fast it’s impossible to truly experience them. Honestly, a thousand things have happened to me that I did not truly experience.
Carlos Manuel Álvarez (The Fallen)
productive kid and a juvenile delinquent. Parents with the happiest kids started this habit early in their parenting careers and then continued it over the years. They kept track of their children’s emotions the way some people keep track of their stock portfolios or favorite baseball team. They did not pay attention in a controlling, insecure style but in a loving, unobtrusive way, like a caring family physician. They knew when their kids were happy, sad, fearful, or joyful, often without asking. They could read and interpret with astonishing accuracy their child’s verbal and nonverbal cues.
John Medina (Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five)
Perceptual motor therapy provides integrated movement experiences that remediate gross-motor, fine-motor, and visual discrimination problems. Activities, including sensory-input techniques, stimulate left/right brain communication to help the child interpret incoming information to the nervous system. Goals are to develop more mature patterns of response to specific stimuli, improve motor skills and balance, and stimulate alternate routes to memory and sequencing for those children who do not respond to the methods taught in the conventional classroom.
Carol Stock Kranowitz (The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder)
look at the dividend yield, which is the annual dividends per share divided by the stock price. This can be interpreted as the percentage of your initial investment that you will receive in income every year. For instance, if you are paying $20 for a stock and it has paid a $1 annual dividend for the past couple of years, you will get 5% of your money back every year.
ex (Simple Stock Trading Formulas: How to Make Money Trading Stocks)