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<<What is the float listed in the snapshot data? I understand Market Cap and Shares Outstanding but have no idea what the float is.>>Here's an explanation we ran in our weekly newspaper feature (for more info on how to get it in your local paper: http://www.fool.com/Specials/1999/sp990409Newsprint.htm)Q. What's a stock's "float"? -- E. C., Sacramento, Calif. A. The float refers to the portion of shares outstanding that are available to be traded by the public. It's good to pay attention to this number with smaller companies, as stocks with small floats (referred to as "thinly-traded") can be extra volatile. Consider Muriel Siebert Inc., the discount brokerage firm. It has roughly 21 million shares outstanding, but according to a proxy statement filed with the SEC in November, Muriel Siebert herself owns more than 20 million of them. The float is only about 700,000 shares. This means that any kind of demand will send the stock price soaring, as supply is so limited. And vice versa.
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