Market Order Types

I had initially intended to describe and comment on the various types of market orders, but I think this post functions better as a simple bulleted reference.

Buy Orders

  • Market Order (n shares)
    • Buy n shares immediately at whatever the market price is.
  • Stop Order (n shares, s stop_price)
    • When the market price exceeds s, place a market buy order for n shares.
  • Limit Order (n shares, m limit_price)
    • Buy up to n shares at any price below m.
  • Stop-Limit Order (n shares, s stopprice, m limitprice)
    • When the market price exceeds s, place a buy limit order for n shares with a limit price of m.
  • Trailing-Stop Order (n shares, tsd trailingstopdollars OR tsp trailingstoppercent)
    • When the market price goes up more then tsd dollars or tsp percent above the security's lowest price since the order was placed, place a market order for n shares.

Sell Orders

  • Market Order (n shares)
    • Sell n shares immediately at whatever the market price is.
  • Stop Order (aka "Stop Loss") (n shares, x price)
    • When the market price goes belowx, place a market sell order for n shares.
  • Limit Order (n shares, x limit_price)
    • Sell up to n shares at any price above x.
  • Stop-Limit Order (n shares, s stopprice, m limitprice)
    • When the market price goes below s, place a sell limit order for n shares with a limit price of m.
  • Trailing-Stop Order (n shares, tsd trailingstopdollars OR tsp trailingstoppercent)
    • When the market price goes down more then tsd dollars or tsp percent below the security's highest price since the order was placed, place a market order for n shares.

Order Conditions

  • All or None (AON)
    • Fill the order completely or not at all. Order is cancelled at market close.
  • Do Not Reduce (DNR)
    • Do not decrease the limit/stop price on buy-limit and sell-stop orders on the record date of a cash dividend. Stock prices typically drop by the amount of the dividend on the ex-dividend date. The ex-dividend date is used to determine who receives the dividend payment.

Order Time Limitations

  • Fill or Kill (FOK)
    • Can be applied to limit orders. Cancel the order if it cannot be filled immediately.
  • Good ‘Til Canceled (GTC)
    • Order remains in effect until filled or cancelled. GTC orders are usually cancelled in 30-90 days depending on the brokerage.
  • Immediate or Cancel (IOC)
    • Fill all or part of the order immediately, then cancel any part that cannot be filled.

Photo of New York Stock Exchange by Brian Glanz