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Calculating Returns on Stocks

I have a set of monthly stock performance figures. I have to calculate the % return for each month. Here is an example of my data:

Jul 04 - 19.09
Jun 04 - 19.06
May 04 - 17.95
Apr 04 - 14.22
Mar 04 - 14.14

To determine the % return for Jul 04 would I take (19.09 - 19.06)/19.06 to come up with .62%? Would I then take the same formula for each month needed?

Also, I have a close figure and an adjusted close figure. I know I need to use the adjusted close figure, but what is the difference between the two?
Thanks

Solution Preview

If you are calculating returns for a month, you need to take the following formula -

(Closing Prince for the month - Opening Price of the month)/Opening Price

In general if you have to find the return for any ...

Solution Summary

The solution explains how to calculate stock returns using monthly data

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