what is limit order

If the price of the security drops quickly or there is a gap in trading, the order may not be filled at the desired limit price or at all. This may result in missed opportunities of profit should the appropriate prices not be targeted. The primary benefit of a stop-limit order is that the trader has precise control over when the order should be filled. The downside, as with all limit orders, is that the trade is not guaranteed to be executed if the stock/commodity does not reach the stop price during the specified time period.

  • A limit order is an instruction for a broker to buy a stock or other security at or below a set price, or to sell a stock at or above the indicated price.
  • For example, if you set a stop order with a stop price of $100, it will be triggered only if a valid quote at $100 or better is met.
  • Because a market order indicates a buyer is willing to buy the current market price, the order is almost always executed.
  • Once the market price reaches the limit price, the buy limit order is triggered and converted into a market order.
  • Investors can cancel standing limit orders as long as conditions haven’t arrived that’s led to the order being actively executed.

On the other hand, if you want to sell a currency pair at a higher price point than the current market price, you can place a limit order to sell the currency pair at your desired price point. If the market reaches your specified price point, your order will be executed, and you will exit the trade at the price you wanted. MEOW is currently trading at $10 per share, but you only want to pay $8 per share at most. If there are shares available, your order will be filled or partially filled at your limit price or lower.

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This can be attributed to after-market or pre-market trading that occurs after the regular market hours have ended. After-hours trading can impact stock price minimally or more substantially, depending on what’s spurring trades. Third, an investor may choose to set a limit order if they are buying or selling at the end of the market day or after the stock market has closed. Company or world news could be announced while the market is closed, which could affect the stock’s price when the market reopens. If the investor isn’t able to cancel a market order while the market is still closed, they may not be happy with the results of the trade. If the stock hits $35 — the stop price — the stock will be triggered to sell.

This type of order offers greater control over the execution price, allowing traders to minimize slippage and maximize potential profits. The investor wants the order completed regardless of how long the market takes to fill the order. The investor would say “I don’t want to pay more than $X for this share.” Sell limit orders are placed with a lower price threshold.

What is a market order and how do I use it?

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what is limit order

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There are various times to use a limit order such as when a stock is rising or falling very quickly, and a trader is fearful of getting a bad fill from a market order. A limit order allows traders to buy or sell a security https://www.bigshotrading.info/ at a specific price or better. It provides precise control over the maximum buy price or minimum sell price. It relies on the market price reaching or crossing the specified limit price within the validity period.

The first example is when you want to buy a stock below its current price. Stop buy orders instruct a broker to buy shares once a stock reaches a price that’s higher than the current market price — Remember, you will typically place a buy limit order at a price below the current price. A stop sell order, also known as a stop-loss order, instructs a broker to sell once the price hits a set level below the current stock price — you typically place sell limit orders above the current price.

When entering a market order, that trade could cause the price to go up or down significantly, and a trader could end up with a different price than intended. Founded in 1993, The Motley Fool is a financial services company dedicated to making the world smarter, happier, and richer. The Motley Fool reaches millions of people every month through our premium investing solutions, free guidance and market analysis on Fool.com, top-rated podcasts, and non-profit The Motley Fool Foundation. The offers that appear on this site are from companies that compensate us.

what is limit order

For example, limit orders can offer more control and flexibility than using market orders. If the stock being traded is highly volatile, for instance, a limit order can help traders retain control and avoid paying an unexpected price. The terms of a limit order are different in that a trade will be executed if the stock hits the specified price or better. So if you want to sell XYZ stock for $50 a share, a sell limit order will be triggered once the stock hits $50 or higher. Deciding what types of trades to place can be challenging for beginning investors.


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