You are right to ask questions. Answers to your questions will come, not from the arrogant jmoulinlives' of this board, but from your own experience. Just hang in there and don't worry if you lose some money. As time goes by, you'll learn to relax and have more faith that a loss at one point will become a larger gain later. That is, if you have done your DD and have chosen a sound company. ALKS is a sound company that has a promising future. Put jmoulinlives on ignore and have faith in yourself and your choices.
Here is the answer to your original question. It is from a commercial vendor but should be responsive to your needs.
Nasdaq Level II Quotes use a data feed display all real-time Bid and Ask quotes for active Market Makers and ECN's for all Nasdaq National Market and Nasdaq Small Cap Market issues. Both Market Makers and ECN's will be referred to as Market Makers for the remainder of this document.
The Level II display starts with the current Level I quote information for the specified security. This includes Last, Change, Volume, Incremental Volume, and the daily High and Low. Also provided is a Bid Tick indicator that indicates the direction of movement for the Bid Price. Below this information are fields that show the strength or interest by the number of Market Makers and the total size that fall into the top color-coded price level. Below this is a price distribution bar that graphically shows the relative number of Market Makers in each price tier compared to the market as a whole. You get a quick overview of what price, if any, dominates at the moment. The Price Distribution bar is displayed directly above the Market Maker Bid / Ask panes. The Bid / Ask panes display the real-time bid and ask quotes for the displayed Market Makers. Market Makers are grouped into tiers based on the Bid and Ask prices. These tiers are color coded to provide a graphical indication of the depth of the market. A time stamp is provided that indicates when the price information was last updated. A Quote Condition field is also present that indicates if the price is closed ('L') or open ('R'). This field can be used to determine which market makers are currently participating. This is especially useful in determining extended trading activity. Below the Bid / Ask panes is the size impact bar that graphically shows the relative number of shares in each price tier compared to the market as a whole. You quickly see at what price the market is concentrated in terms of number of shares.
understandable. I read almost everything I can find about the market. I obviuosly have a lot to learn and my goal is not to be a day trader. I would like to be a trend follower. I just have a problem, an obsession more like, with watching every tick and I have been burned a few times in my short trading career, and sometimes get a little trigger happy with the sell button. That's why I sold at 8 the other day. I had to buy back a little higher. I really want to hold this one for a while though.