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Stop Order

A stop order is an order to buy or sell a stock once the price of the stock reaches a specified price, known as the stop price. When the specified price is reached, your stop order becomes a market order.

Additional Comments:

Buy Stop Order ? Investors typically use a stop order when buying stock to limit a loss or protect a profit on short sales. The order is entered at a stop price that is always above the current market price.

Sell Stop Order ? A sell stop order helps investors to avoid further losses or to protect a profit that exists if a stock price continues to drop. A stop order to sell is always placed below the current market price.

The advantage of a stop order is you don't have to monitor how a stock is performing on a daily basis. The disadvantage is that the stop price could be activated by a short-term fluctuation in a stock's price. Also, once your stop price is reached, your stop order becomes a market order and the price you receive may be much different from the stop price, especially in a fast-moving market where stock prices can change rapidly. An investor can avoid the risk of a stop order not guaranteeing a specific price by placing a stop-limit order.

The use of stop orders is much more frequent for stocks that trade on an exchange than in the over-counter (OTC) market. In addition, your broker-dealer may not allow you to place a stop order on some securities or accept a stop order for OTC stocks. Before you enter into these types of orders, you should speak to your broker or financial advisor about how these orders work.

More information on the Use of Stop Orders.

Related Terms:

Stop Limit
This is an order that says once the stock's market price touches or goes below the ...

Stop Market
This type of stop loss order is known by various names, such as "stop," "stop loss," ...

Stop-Loss Order
An order to sell when the price of the stock declines to, or below, a stated ...

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