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Order Types

Provided by: ALTAVEST Worldwide Trading, Inc

The types of orders most commonly used are briefly described below:


The market order is the most frequently used order. It is a very good order to use once you have made a decision about opening or closing a position. It can keep the customer from having to chase a market trying to get in or out of a position. The market order is executed at the best possible price obtainable at the time the order reaches the trading pit.


The limit order is an order to buy or sell at a designated price. Limit Orders to buy are placed below the market while limit orders to sell are placed above the market. Since the market may never get high enough or low enough to trigger a limit order, a customer may miss the market if he uses a limit order. (Even though you may see the market touch a limit price several times, this does not guarantee or earn the customer a fill at that price. In most instances, the market must trade BETTER than the limit price for the customer to get a fill.)


The pit broker is obligated to get the best possible price for the customer. Putting an OB on an order does not cause him to work harder. If the price is NOT OB, the broker is irritated because he is paying special attention to a ticket that does not deserve it. Think of OB as MARKET with a LIMIT. If the price does not have an OB next to it, and the market is considerably better, the pit broker may question the runner to see if the order should have been a stop. They will return the order for clarification which could delay the filling of the order and possibly change the results of the fill. ONLY USE "OR BETTER" IF THE MARKET IS "OR BETTER."


MITs are the opposite of stop orders. Buy MITs are placed below the market and Sell MITs are placed above the market. An MIT order is usually used to enter the market or initiate a trade. An MIT order is similar to a limit order in that a specific price is placed on the order. However, an MIT order becomes a market order once the limit price is touched or passed through. An execution may be at, above, or below the originally specified price. An MIT order will not be executed if the market fails to touch the MIT specified price.


Stop orders can be used for three purposes:

a. to minimize a loss on a long or short position,

b. to protect a profit on an existing long or short position, or

c. to initiate a new long or short position.

A buy stop order is placed above the market and a sell stop order is placed below the market. Once the stop price is touched, the order is treated like a market order and will be filled at the best possible price.

Please note; while stops and MIT's are normally elected only when the specific price is touched, they can be elected when the opening of a market is such that the price is through the stop or MIT limit. In this case, the customer can routinely expect the fill to be much worse than the original stop or better on the MIT. This applies to stop orders and MIT orders placed before the opening of trading.


A stop limit order lists two prices and is an attempt to gain more control over the price at which your stop is filled. The first part of the order is written like the above stop order. The second part of the order specifies a limit price. This indicates that once your stop is triggered, you do not wish to be filled beyond the limit price. Stop limit orders should usually not be used when trying to exit a position. If a customer does not give a limit price, then the stop price and the limit price are meant to be identical.


The stop price on a stop close only will only be triggered if the market touches the stop during the close of trading. The disadvantage of this order is a fast market in the last few minutes of trading may cause the order to be filled at an undesirable price. It can, however, protect the customer from getting filled during adverse price fluctuations during the course of the day.


This is an order that the customer wishes to be executed during the opening range of trading at the best possible price obtainable within the opening range. Not all exchanges recognize this type of order. One such exchange is the Chicago Board of Trade.


This is an order that will be filled during the final seconds of trading at whatever price is available. Please note: a floor broker reserves the right to refuse an MOC order up to fifteen minutes before the close depending upon market conditions.


The fill or kill order is used by customers wishing an immediate fill, but at a specified price. Our floor broker will bid or offer the order three times and immediately return either a fill or an unable.


This is a combination of two orders written on one order ticket. This instructs our floor personnel that once one side of the order is filled, the remaining side of the order should be cancelled. By placing both instructions on one order, rather than two separate tickets, the customer eliminates the possibility of a double fill. (This order is not acceptable on all exchanges.)

Please note: we will not routinely accept cancel/replace of an OCO order within to fifteen minutes of the close of trading. We will accept cancelling both sides during this period and replacing with either MOC or market orders, but cannot guarantee against a double fill.


The customer wishes to take a simultaneous long and short position in an attempt to profit via the price differential or "spread" between two prices. A spread can be established between different months of the same commodity, between related commodities or between the same or related commodities traded on two different exchanges. A spread order can be entered at the market or you can designate that you wish to be filled when the price difference between the commodities reaches a certain point (or premium). For example: BUY 1 JUNE LIVE CATTLE, SELL 1 AUGUST LIVE CATTLE PLUS 100 TO THE AUGUST SELL SIDE. This means that the customer wants to initiate or liquidate the spread when August Cattle is 100 points higher than June cattle.

At this time, most exchanges do not report spread transactions on their quotation feeds. A spread broker has great leeway to ensure he can obtain prices required by limits. He cannot be held to any price differentials which seem to appear on quotation equipment!


As futures and options trading becomes more and more sophisticated, new strategies and techniques may arise. Certain option orders called "spreads" may not look much like traditional spreads. There may be two buys and no sells, the quantity may be a ratio, it may include futures and options on the same order, and many more. If you have any questions about this type of order, please let your manager know that you may need help and he or she will be happy to assist you or to find someone who can.


Different Exchanges accept different orders. All of the orders which we have discussed are not accepted by all exchanges.

Following is a list of the major commodity exchanges, their commodities and the orders which they accept:

Exchange Orders Allowed Commodities
Chicago Board Of Trade Market, Market On Close, Limit, Stop, and Fill Or Kill Orders Wheat, Corn, Oats, Soybeans, Bean Oil, Bean Meal, Anhydrous Ammonia, Diammonium Phosphate, T-Bonds, T-Notes, Muni Bonds, Five Year Notes, Two Year Notes
Chicago Mercantile Exchange All Of The Orders Described In This Section Are Acceptable Live Cattle, Feeder Cattle, Lean Hogs, Pork Bellies, Lumber
Index and Options Market (Iom) All Of The Orders Described In This Section Are Acceptable S&P 500, Mid Cap 400, Nasdaq 100
International Monetary Market (Imm) All Of The Orders Described In This Section Are Acceptable T-Bills, Japanese Yen, Eurodollars, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Swiss Franc, Deutschemark, Australian Dollar, Mexican Peso
New York Comex Copper Only: Market, Market On Close, Limit, Stop and Fill Or Kill. Oco Orders Are Acceptable Only If The Second Half Of The Order Is A MOC
Gold and Silver: Market, Market On Close, Limit, Stop, and Fill Or Kill. Stop Limits Are Acceptable Only On A Not-Held Basis
Copper, Gold, Silver
NY Cotton Exchange Market, Market On Close, Limit, Stop, and Fill Or Kill. OCO orders are acceptable but only if the second part of the order is a MOC Cotton, Orange Juice, Dollar Index
NY Coffee, Sugar & Cocoa Exchange All Of The Orders Described In This Section Are Acceptable Coffee, Cocoa, Sugar
NY Mercantile Exchange All Of The Orders Described In This Section Are Acceptable Leaded Gasoline, Heating Oil, Platinum, Crude Oil, Palladium, Natural Gas
NY Futures Exchange All Of The Orders Described In This Section Are Acceptable New York Stock Exchange Index, CRB Index
Kansas City Board Of Trade Kansas City Value Line, Kansas City Mini Value Line: All Of The Orders Described In This Section Are Acceptable
Kansas City Wheat: Acceptable Are: Market, Market On Close, Limit, Stop and Fill Or Kill
Kansas City Value Line, Kansas City Mini Value Line
Minneapolis Board Of Trade All Of The Orders Described In This Section Are Acceptable Minneapolis Wheat, Minneapolis White Wheat
Mid America Exchange Market, Market On Close, Limit, Stop, Fill Or Kill and Stop Close Only Orders Cattle, Hogs, Silver, Gold, Corn, Beans, Wheat, T-Bills, T-Bonds, Swiss Franc, Canadian Dollar, Deutschemark, Japanese Yen, British Pound, Sugar
*Please note that the individual exchanges may change the orders which they accept without prior notice.

Using symbols to write an order may save time. However, the extra seconds that it may take to write out the commodity and month may prevent errors.