How to use a newspaper to study and report on shares and dividend ? 

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While individuals for whom the stock market is literally their life, such as with brokers and investors (both major and minor, the latter often tracking and trading in so-called penny stocks), access to a ticker such as is provided on the bottom of the television screen on business-oriented networks like CNBC and Fox Business News is essential. Newspapers, prior to the advent of business-oriented television networks, were the primary means for the average citizen of tracking stocks over a period of time. The business sections of many newspapers included comprehensive listings of stocks for the New York Stock Exchange as well as for other major exchanges. With the introduction of cable television, however, and with the Internet, data on stocks could be reliably attained far more quickly than was the case with reliance on newspapers. Newspapers, it is important to remember, reflect information as available on a very specific period of time. Once the newspaper "goes to press," the information in the paper cannot be modified to reflect changes in ongoing events, including with respect to global stock markets (e.g., the Hang Seng in Hong Kong, the Nikkei in Tokyo, and the Shanghai Composite in China). Newspapers simply cannot keep up with the rapid rate of change that routinely takes place in stock markets, although most newspapers now have their own Internet sites that do provide up-to-date information.

All of that said, newspapers are still useful for students learning how to track individual stocks. Those papers that still include stock market data can be used to consult the peaks and valleys common to many stocks, with the data charted on a graph so as to provide for an informative "picture" of how that stock is doing over a period of time. The student simply needs to pick the stocks in which he or she is interested, locate those stocks in the relevant market (e.g., New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq), note the current price at which the stocks are selling, and the time and date of that data. As suggested, a graph can easily be drawn-up to reflect those stocks' positions on a daily basis, which provides insights into the stability of the stocks.

Tracking dividends is more complicated, because 100 percent of profits are not returned to investors in the form of dividends. On the contrary, profits often have to be reinvested into the company in question, such as for recapitalization of physical plants in the case of manufacturers [See, on this point,]. Dividends can, however, be tracked through business reports, such as at the Wall Street Journal's website []. Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper provides a helpful primer on tracking stocks and dividends but, again, the value remains more in exploitation of the Internet sites for newspapers than in use of a hard-copy newspaper itself [See:].

In short, stocks and dividends can still be tracked utilizing newspapers, but the concept of a "newspaper" is not what it used to be. Online news sources affiliated with newspapers are obviously not paper per se, but represent paper in the modern era.