The ask price (a shortening of asked price) is the price at which a market maker or broker offers to sell a security or commodity. The price another market maker or broker is willing to pay for that security is called the bid price, and the difference between the two prices is called the spread.
Bid and ask prices are typically reported to the media for commodities and over-the-counter (OTC) transactions. In contrast, last, or closing, prices are reported for exchange-traded and national market securities. With open-end mutual funds, the ask price is the net asset value (NAV), or the price you get if you sell, plus the sales charge, if one applies.