Because the terms are used interchangeably to describe the same thing.
If a person says he has shares, he is usually referring to a holding of stock in one or more companies whereas if a person says he has stocks, he is usually referring to a holding in several companies. Apart from that, the terms are used with similar meaning.
Both relate to having a claim on a fraction of a company's assets in the case of dissolution and a claim in the case of ordinary shares on a proportion of the company's income by way of a dividend.
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