Traders’ Glossary™

A-C | D-F | G-J | K-M | N-S | T-Z

Use the “Find” command in your browser window to go directly to any key word.

One of three types of Japanese candlestick charts that does not have time on the horizontal axis.
Kalman Filters
A linear system in which the mean squared error between the desired and the actual output is minimized when the input is a random signal.
Kelly’s Law
Bet bigger when the odds are in your favor. In management wisdom, if anything does go wrong, it will do so in triplicate. Also, an executive will always go back to work early if no one takes him.
Knowledge Base
In artificial intelligence, a given inventory of knowledge specific to a set of rules.
Kondratieff, Nikolai
Developer of a wave theory.
Indicator developed by Martin Pring. A weighted summed rate of change oscillator. Four different rates of change are calculated, smoothed, multiplied by weights and then summed to form one indicator.
Descriptive measure of how flat or pointed a distribution is.
The number of data points that a filter, such as a moving average, follows or trails the input price data.
Latest Quarterly Earnings
(%) The percentage change from the latest earnings earnings reported compared with the same quarter a year earlier.
Law of Series
A succession of random events, such as flipping a coin.
The number of data points that a filter, much as a moving average, precedes the input price data.
Acronym for long-term equity anticipation securities, which are long-term listed options, with maturities that can be as long as two and a half years.
Least Squares Method
A technique of fitting a curve close to some given points that minimizes the sum of the squares of the deviations of the given points from the curve.
One side of a spread.
Leg Out
In rolling forward in futures, a method that would result in liquidating a position.
Limit Move
A change in price that exceeds the limits set by the exchange on which the contract is traded.
Limit Order
An order to buy or sell when a price is fixed.
Limit Up, Limit Down
Commodity exchange restrictions on the maximum upward or downward movements permit ted in the price for a commodity during any trading session day.
A programming language based on predicate logic and is the one most commonly used in artificial intelligence applications.
Ljung-Box statistic
A chi-square test of significance of higher order correlation existence. The marginal significance level is the probability that a no more higher order correlation exists.
Commission and fees taken out of investment capital; that is, the situation in which a front-loaded mutual fund takes commission and fees out of investment capital before the money is put to work.
The trader in a pit of a commodity exchange who buys and sells for his or her account.
Locked Limit
A market that, if not restricted, would seek price equilibrium outside the limit but, instead, moves to the limit and ceases to trade.
Establishing ownership of the responsibilities of a buyer of a tradable; holding securities in anticipation of a price increase in that security.
Lookback Interval
The number of periods of historical data used for observation and calculation.
Low Pass Frequency Filter
A data smoother or filter that lets pass low frequency trend sinusoids and rejects high frequency noise (see SMA).
To sell at the bid price.
See Moving Average Convergence/Divergence.
A computer method commonly used in spreadsheets to automate repetitive steps by recording the necessary keystrokes. The macro can then be run and the keystrokes implemented.
Major Auction
The overall trend of the market such as might be observed on a bar chart.
Managed Futures
A fund that uses the futures market as its primary asset.
Mandelbrot Set
Complex but structured pattern produced by an equation in which the result is fed back into the equation repeatedly; self-similarity.
A function, or relation between values.
In stock trading, an account in which purchase of stock may be financed with borrowed money; in futures trading, the deposit placed with the clearinghouse to assure fulfillment of the contract. This amount varies daily and is settled in cash.
Marginal Significance Level of Test-Statistics
The probability distribution used to test the hypothesis that the beta coefficient does not equal zero. A T-statistic of approximately 1.65 reflects a 0.90 or 90% confidence and the mar ginal significance is 1-0.90 = 0.1 or 10%.
Marked to Market
At the end of each business day the open positions carried in an account held at a brokerage firm are credited or debited funds based on the settlement price of the open positions that day.
Market Breadth
The shares of a particular stock traded during a specific period. Usually refers to the overall strength and trading volume of the market.
Market If Touched
Resting order with the floor broker that becomes a market order to be executed if the trigger price is traded.
Market Maker
A broker or bank continually prepared to make a two-way price to purchase or sell for a security or currency.
Market on Close
An order specification that requires the broker to get the best price available on the close of trading, usually during the last five minutes of trading.
Market Order
Instructions to the broker to immediately sell to the best available bid or to buy from the best available offer.
Market Risk
The uncertainty of returns attributable to fluctuation of the entire market.
Market Sentiment
Crowd psychology, typically a measurement of bullish or bearish attitudes among investors and traders.
Market Timing
Using analytical tools to devise entry and exit methods.
Market Value
Company value determined by investors, obtained by multiplying the current price of company stock by the common shares outstanding.
Markov Chain
A set of processes where the probabilities for the next state are dependent on the present state.
From roulette; a tactical system that requires doubling your bet after each loss, so that winning once you recoup the amount originally bet.
The Marche A Terme Des Instruments Financiers exchange in Paris.
The highest or maximum value.
Optimistic decision-making that identifies the decision alternative with the best possible outcomes.
Pessimistic decision-making that identifies the decision alternative with the worst possible outcomes.
Maximum Adverse Excursion

A historical measurement of the closed losing trades versus the closed profitable trades of a trading system. Used to determine the stop-loss level that can be used that will allow winning trades to remain; the extreme unfavorable price level reached for both profitable and unprofitable trades.
Maximum Entropy Method
More flexible than Fourier analysis, the maximum entropy method is both a tool for spectrum analysis and a method of adaptive filtering and trend forecasting. As a tool for spectrum analysis, the MEM system can provide high resolution spectra for identifying the dominant data cycles within relatively short time series, such as open, high, low, close, volume and open interest, or study results, such as RSI, TRIX, and so on. (Fourier analysis, in contrast, gives best results when applied to time series of six months or longer.) As a forecasting tool, MEM is used in conjunction with moving averages to forecast lower and upper trend channels in the data.
Maximum Entropy Spectrum Analysis
See Maximum Entropy Method.
When the sum of the values is divided by the number of observation.
Mean Deviation
The average absolute value of the difference between the population of numbers and the mean.
Mean P/L
The average profitability of a trader’s account, as measured over a given period.
Mean Return
The average monthly total return of a stock. The total return is price change added to dividends.
Mean Reverting
The term adopted in academic literature for one possible state of a price series: that state when price is oscillating randomly about some (unknown) mean value. That is, it is not trending.
Median Line
The line that is drawn from an extreme that bisects a line drawn through the next corrective phase after the pivot point. See Andrews Method.
See Maximum Entropy Method.
Mental Stop-Loss
A stop-loss order kept in your head instead of instructing your broker.
See Maximum Entropy Spectrum Analysis.
The lowest or minimum value.
Minor Auction
The latest trend of the market, i.e., what it is doing now.
The most frequently occurring value.
Modern Portfolio Theory
Investing theory in which portfolio managers estimate and manage risk and return.
Modified Endowment Contract
Life insurance in which funds such as policy loans, assignments, pledges, and partial surrenders are considered gross income and subject to income tax.
A time series representing change of today’s price from some fixed number of days back in history.
Momentum Filter
A measure of change, derivative or slope of the underlying trend in a time series. Implemented by first applying a low pass filter to the data and then applying a differencing operation to the results.
Momentum Indicator
A market indicator utilizing price and volume statistics for predicting the strength or weakness of a current market and any overbought or oversold conditions, and to note turning points within the market.
Money Flow
A number of technical indicators that incorporate volume and price action to measure buying or selling pressure.
Money Market
The market in which dealers trade riskless, short-term securities such as certificates of deposit and Treasury bills.
Money Market Fund
A mutual fund made up of money market instruments that are short term in nature.
Money Stop
A fixed amount of money that a market participant would lose if a stop were hit.
In Elliott wave theory, a single wave within a range of waves.
Morning Star
A bottom reversal pattern, according to Steve Nison a signal that the bulls have seized control.
Moving Average

A mathematical procedure to smooth or eliminate the fluctuations in data and to assist in determin ing when to buy and sell. Moving averages emphasize the direction of a trend, confirm trend reversals and smooth out price and volume fluctuations or "noise" that can confuse interpretation of the market; the sum of a value plus a selected number of previous values divided by the total number of values.
Moving Average Crossovers

The point where the various moving average lines intersect each other or the price line on a moving average price bar chart. Technicians use crossovers to signal price-based buy and sell opportunities.
Moving Average Model
A time series equation representing an observed value at time t as a linear combination of present and past random shocks et (forecast errors). A moving-average process of order Q, MA(q), may be written:
Moving Average Convergence/ Divergence (MACD)
The crossing of two exponentially smoothed moving averages that are plotted above and below a zero line. The crossover, movement through the zero line, and divergences generate buy and sell signals.
Moving Window
Snapshot of a portion of a time series at an instant in time. The window is moved along the time series at a constant rate.
Two variables that have a correlation of greater than 0.70 or less than -0.70 in a regression model. The final result is the two variables explaining the same portion of variation where either variable would be suffi cient.
Multiple Linear Regression
More than one independent variable is used to account for the variability in one depen dent variable.
Mutual Fund
A company that invests money of its shareholders in a variety of areas, usually stocks.
A-C | D-F | G-J | K-M | N-S | T-Z