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Meaning / Definition of

Circuit Breaker

Categories: Investing and Trading,

After the stock market crash of 1987, stock and commodities exchanges established a system of trigger-point rules known as circuit breakers. They temporarily restrict trading in stocks, stock options, and stock index futures when prices fall too far, too fast.Currently, trading on the new york stock exchange (NYSE) is halted when the dow jones industrial average (DJIA) drops 10% any time before 2:30 p.m., sooner if the drop is 20%. But trading could resume, depending on the time of day the loss occurs. However, if the DJIA drops 30% at any point in the day, trading ends for the day. The actual number of points the DJIA would need to drop to hit the trigger is set four times a year, at the end of each quarter, based on the average value of the DJIA in the previous month.The only time the circuit breakers have been triggered was on October 27, 1997, when the DJIA fell 554 points, or 7.2%, and the shut-down level was lower. In fact, the DJIA has dropped as much as 10% in a single day only three times in its history.

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Definition / Meaning of

Stop Order

Categories: Investing and Trading, Brokerages,

You can issue a stop order, which instructs your broker to buy or sell a security once it trades at a certain price, called the stop price. Stop orders are entered below the current price if you are selling and above the current price if you are buying. Once the stop price is reached, your order becomes a market order and is executed.For example, if you owned a stock currently trading at $35 a share that you feared might drop in price, you could issue a stop order to sell if the price dropped to $30 a share to protect yourself against a larger loss. The risk is that if the price drops very quickly, and other orders have been placed before yours, the stock could actually end up selling for less than $30. You can give a stop order as a day order or as a good 'til canceled (GTC) order. You might use a buy stop order if you have sold stock short anticipating a downward movement of market price of the security. If, instead, the price rises to the stop price, the order will be executed, limiting your loss. However, there is a risk with this type of order if the market price of the stock rises very rapidly. Other orders entered ahead of yours will be executed first, and you might buy at a price considerably higher than the stop limit, increasing your loss.

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