WRONG:

STOCK AND TRADE


RIGHT:

STOCK IN TRADE


In this context, “trade” means “business.” The items a business trades in are its stock in trade. Metaphorically, the stuff needed by people to carry on their activities can also be called their stock in trade: “Bushy eyebrows, cigars, and quips were Groucho’s stock in trade.” This expression has nothing to do with trading stock, as on a stock exchange, and it should not be transformed into “stock and trade.”


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