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S&P 500 - One of the most widely followed benchmarks on Wall Street. It consists of 500 companies selected on size, activity and industry group. ( Also see STANDARD & POOR'S

S&P SMALL CAP 600 - This index tracks the performance of 600 small companies. ( Also see STANDARD & POOR'S


SEASON HIGH/LOW - The highest and lowest price at which a contract has traded in the time the contract has been available in the market.

SEC - Securities and Exchange Commission. A federal agency established in 1934 to oversee to protect the investment community from fraud and dishonest selling practices. (


SETTLEMENT PRICE - The final price at which a contract trades for the day.

SG&A EXPENSES - Selling, General and Administrative Expenses

SHARES OUTSTANDING - The total number of shares of common stock that is being bought, sold or held by investors.

SHORT SALE - The sale of a stock or security when an investor expects a drop in the price. The investor borrows the stock and, after the price has dropped, will purchase the shares to make a profit.

SPOT MARKET - Where commodities are bought and sold for cash, in exchange for the immediate delivery of goods. Also called the cash market.

SPOT RATE - The rate at which foreign currency will be exchanged immediately on the open market.

SPREAD - The difference between bid and ask prices.

STANDARD & POOR'S - A company that rates stocks and bonds and provides investment services. (

STOCK - A share in a company. Companies usually sell stock on order to raise money, share risk, or share in the costs of running the company. The most popular kind is called common stock, which normally entitles the owner to share of the company's profits and voting rights in business affairs.

STOCK EXCHANGE - Organized trading floors, such as the NYSE and Amex, where orders from brokers filter through specialists who buy and sell shares of stock. Nasdaq is an electronic marketplace with no central trading floor and is not technically considered an exchange.

STRIKE PRICE The price at which the underlying security can be bought or sold before the option expires.

STRIP - A type of bond whose interest payment has been separated from the bond itself, resulting in a zero-coupon bond.

STUB NAME - The abbreviated company name that appears in the 'name' field of most newspapers.