Visual Encyclopedia

Stock

The stock (also capital stock) of a corporation is constituted of the equity stock of its owners. A single share of the stock represents fractional ownership of the corporation in proportion to the total number of shares. In liquidation, the stock represents the residual assets of the company that would be due to stockholders after discharge of all senior claims such as secured and unsecured debt. Stockholders' equity cannot be withdrawn from the company in a way that is intended to be detrimental to the company's creditors.

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Options can be traded without owning the underlying stock, also known as trading "naked".

Contributed by Chase Sansone

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