This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

What Is Market Capitalization?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Some words and concepts in finance are simple and easy enough to guess their meanings: diversification, mutual fund, risk management, price/earnings ratio.

Other financial terms always seem to throw me for a loop. Even though I understand them, I find myself secretly looking up these terms over and over again just to smash the concept into my head.

Thanks @Investopedia, @Nasdaq and @Stox for always being there for my financial definitional needs.

One of those evasive concepts is "market capitalization." I hear the term all the time and I look up a company's market capitalization for every stock I trade, so you know I know what it is. I use the computation and the concept of what market cap means in my stock selection and analysis, but when I try to define it I feel compelled to look it up again.

What is Market Capitalization?

Market Capitalization is the current market value of all of the shares of stock that are outstanding for a publicly traded company.

Not long ago, people spoke of large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap stocks. I blinked and somewhere along the way we went from these three categories to the six  -- mega, large, mid, small, micro, and nano -- shown below.

These capitalization designations come from

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.21 -0.44%
FB $117.80 -0.22%
GOOG $701.26 0.80%
TSLA $211.34 -5.00%
YHOO $36.94 2.60%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,660.71 +9.45 0.05%
S&P 500 2,050.63 -0.49 -0.02%
NASDAQ 4,717.0940 -8.5450 -0.18%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs