What is a Historical Stock Price?

Luke Arthur

A historical stock price is the price of a stock on a certain date in the past. Historical stock prices are commonly used by investors as a way to analyze stock decisions. The historical stock price of a stock can be obtained from several different resources, including online charting software and historical stock price websites.

Past stock price trends can sometimes guide present-day investment decisions.
Past stock price trends can sometimes guide present-day investment decisions.

A historical stock price will tell an investor what a particular stock traded at on a given day. The stock price will provide information about where the stock opened on a particular day and where it closed. Investors can also gain access to dividend payments as well as stock splits over the course of the history of a stock. Stock prices can be accessed for any day in which a stock was available for trading.

Traders use this information in a variety of ways. Many times, it can help them make decisions about whether to buy or sell a particular stock. In many cases, it can be beneficial to know the all-time historical high or low price for a stock.

For example, let's say a trader is considering purchasing a stock at $100 US Dollars (USD) per share. By looking at the historical stock price, the trader can see that the all-time high for the stock was $102 USD per share 10 years ago. At this point, the trader may decide to avoid purchasing the stock. The trader now knows that the all-time ceiling for the stock is $102 USD. Unless the stock breaks through the high and charges into previously unknown territory, the potential of the trade is not that good.

When looking at historical data, it is also important to realize that it cannot predict the future. Even though it is good to be aware of information from the past, it has no bearing on what can happen to a stock price in the future. Just because a stock has never been above $102 USD per share before does not mean that it could not get to $200 USD per share at some point in the future.

These historical stock prices can be accessed in a variety of different methods. Perhaps the easiest way is through the charting software on a trading platform. Many brokers offer access to stock charts as part of their trading software that is available to traders. Historical stock prices are also offered from subscription websites that have access to every stock in the history of the stock exchange.

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