Listed refers to securities like stocks, bonds and derivatives that are quoted and traded publicly on an exchange open to the public. Listed securities are preferred by some investors over those dealt over-the-counter (OTC) because their trading is regulated by the SEC and prices can be determined more transparently and accurately.
Tradable securities listed on an exchange are generally more liquid than OTC securities because pricing and sales quotations are considered fairer and more accurate since the exchange posts them in regularly. Exchanges also publish quarterly and annual balance sheets for their listed companies to help investors make buying or selling decisions. Equity and debt securities are usually listed on stock exchanges like the NYSE while listed futures and options contracts are traded on derivatives exchanges like the CME or CBOE.
Listed securities can also be removed from a public trading exchange if their issuers don't comply with the exchange's requirements, a process called delisting. Securities can be delisted for, among other reasons, failing to meet minimum price requirements or if its issuer does not produce financial statements or results that meet the exchange's listing criteria. These secuities can continue trading on the OTC market.