Traders’ Glossary™

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Naked Put
The writer of a put option contract who is not short the underlying security.
Narrow Range Day
A trading day with a smaller price range relative to the previous day’s price range.
National Association of Investors Corporation
Also known as the National Association of Investment Clubs.
Near-Month Contract/Far-Month Contract
Contract whose expiration is near/far.
An option with a strike price close to the current price of the underlying tradable.

A trendline drawn along the support or resistance points of various reversal and consolidation pattern (i.e., head and shoulder, double and triple top/bottom formations).
Negative Amortization
This means that a payment of the stated size is insufficient to repay even the interest on the debt, meaning the total debt actually increases each month instead of falling.
Negative Divergence
When two or more averages, indices or indicators fail to show confirming trends.
Net Asset Value
The total market value of all securities contained in a mutual fund; also known as price per share.
Neural Network
An artificial intelligence program that is capable of learning through a training process of trial and error.
No-Action Letter
The Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) agrees to take no action to block a proposal by an exchange or company in conducting some aspect of the securities business. The aspect could be for almost anything, but the most common is a new contract listing or a new security issuance.
Without any sales charge. For mutual funds, shares sold at net asset value.
Price and volume fluctuations that can confuse interpretation of market direction.
Noisy Signal
A signal in which the effects of random influences cannot be dismissed.
Nonlinear Dynamics Analysis
Analysis of relationships that start from well-defined outcomes to complex and cha otic results.
Nonlinear Statistics
Statistics theory that attempts to define probability distribution from disorder to either a more orderly state or a sharp trend reversal, such as stock market fluctuations.
Non-Seasonal Autocorrelation
Autocorrelation that shows up other than at 12-month lag intervals.
Non-Trend Day
A narrow range day lacking any discernible movement in either direction.
Normal Distribution
For the purposes of statistical testing, the simulated net returns are assumed to be drawn from a particular distribution. If net returns are drawn from a normal distribution, low and high returns are equally likely, and the most likely net return in a quarter is the average net return.
Adjusting a time series so that the series lies in a prescribed normal, standard range.
Notice Day
The day that a notice of intent to deliver is issued to a futures contract holder.
Null Hypothesis
The hypothesis that there is no validity to the specific claim that two variations (treatments) of the same thing can be distinguished by a specific procedure.
A concept used in radar research, applicable to trading, in how often and what manner detection or radar contact is achieved.
See On-Balance Volume.
Odd Lot
An order to buy/sell fewer than 100 shares of stock.
Off Farm
The amount of stocks held by nonproducers including supplies held at mills, elevators, terminals, and processors.
On Farm
The amount of stocks held by producers.
On-Balance Volume
Plotted as a line representing the cumulative total of volume. The volume from a day’s trading with a higher close when compared with the previous day is assigned a positive value, while volume on a lower close from the previous day is assigned a negative value. Traders look for a confirmation of a trend in OBV with the market or a divergence between the two as an indication of a potential reversal.
One-Tailed T-Test
A statistical test of significance for a distribution that changes its shape as N gets smaller; based on a variable t, equal to the difference between the mean of the sample and the mean of the population divided by a result obtained by dividing the standard deviation of the sample by the square root of the number of individuals in the sample.
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Opening Print
The first price of a stock that comes across the ticker for the session.
Open Trades
Current trades that are still held active in the customer’s account.
n -day open TRIN =
Opening Call
A period at the opening of a futures market in which the price for each contract is established by outcry.
Opening Range
The range of prices that occur during the first 30 seconds to five minutes of trading, depending on the preference of the individual analyst.
Opportunity Costs
Income foregone by the commitment of resources to another use.
A methodology by which a system is developed with rules tailored to fit the data in question precisely.
A contract that provides the right but not the obligation to buy or sell a specified amount of a security within a specified time period.
Optional Cash Purchase
Buying additional shares made through the dividend reinvestment account.
The number of days of past price history used to predict the following day’s price.
Technical indicator used to identify overbought and oversold price regions. An indicator that detrends data, such as price.
An item within the range of a sample that does not conform to the mean of the sample.
A call option whose exercise price is above the current market price of the underlying security or futures contract. For example, if a commodity price is $500, then a call option purchased for a strike price of $550 is considered out-of-the-money.
Out Trade
A mismatched trade between two traders in the pit, and which is settled the next day.
The result (singular) stemming from a statistical test.
A value removed from the other values to such an extreme that its presence cannot be attributed to the random combination of chance causes.
Outside Reversal Month
A month in which the recent monthly trading range exceeds the previous month’s range and closes opposite (reverses) the previous month’s close.
Market prices that have risen too steeply and too fast.
The parameters of a trading system are selected to return the highest profit over the historical data.
A model developed with rules tailored to fit the historical data precisely.
To pass beyond or over a specific targeted level.
Market prices that have declined too steeply and too fast.
Overbought/Oversold Indicator
An indicator that attempts to define when prices have moved too far and too fast in either direction and thus are vulnerable to a reaction.
The full principal amount of an investment instrument.
The U-shaped curve in the plane given by the equation of the form

Of, having the form of or relating to a parabola.
A variable, set of data, or rule that establishes a precise format for a model.
Pareto’s Law
A law that states that 80% of results come from 20% of the effort.
Block-structured programming language developed originally as an aid to instruction, now widely used for applications development.
A short compact wedge accompanied by receding volume.
A value on a scale of one hundred that indicates the percent of a distribution that is equal to or below it.
A pattern-recognition machine, based on an analogy to the human nervous system, capable of learning by means of a feedback system that reinforces correct answers and discourages wrong ones.
Pessimistic Rate of Return
A statistic that adjusts the usual wins/losses statistic to estimate the worst return from trading results. It reduces the number of wins by the square root of the actual number and increase the number of losses by the square root of the actual number of losses. The resulting numbers of wins or losses are multiplied by the average win or loss and the sum of the resulting wins/losses is divided by the required investment.
Phase Delay
The time lag that a filter falls behind the pre-filtered data.
Used to describe the frequency, amplitude, and phase of all frequency components of the signal.
Pivot Point
In market activity, a price reversal point.
Point and Figure Chart

A price-only chart that plots up prices as Xs and down prices as Os. The minimum price recorded is called the box size. Typically, a three-box reversal indicates a change in the direction of prices.
Position Management Ratio
The ratio of profits extracted on winning transactions versus losses suffered on trades that liquidate unprofitably.
The price a buyer pays to an option writer for granting an option contract.
Altering data to some extent to be more accurately analyzed; smoothing, reducing unwanted data, removing trend. Processing data is mathematically transforming the data from one form into another with the goal of amplifying the pertinent information for traders.
Removing the bulk of first, second and possibly third order autocorrelations using non-linear regres sion.
Price/Earnings Ratio
Stock price divided by annual earnings per share.
Price to Sales Ratio
The price of a stock divided by sales-per-share of the company in the most recent fiscal year.
Probability Density Function
A graph showing the probability of occurrence of a particular data point (price).
Profit Margin Expansion
In long-term reference, a measure of a company’s net profit margin in the latest reported quarter divided by profit margin in the fiscal year previous. In short-term reference, a measure of a company’s net profit margin in the latest reported quarter divided by profit margin in the quarter immediately preceding.
Profit Taking
Selling tradables that have appreciated since initial purchase in order to take advantage of the appreciation.
Program Trading
Trades based on signals from computer programs, usually entered directly from the trader’s com puter to the market’s computer system.
Report published by the company that operates a mutual fund. It describes the fund’s investment objectives; its managers and their experience; the fees and charges associated with the fund; and policies and restrictions.
Put Option
A contract to sell a specified amount of a stock or commodity at an agreed time at the stated exercise price.
To increase holdings that an investor has by using the most buying power available in a margin account with paper and real profits.
Quarterly Earnings Change
(%) Historical earnings change between the earnings most recently reported and the quarter preceding.
Quarterly Net Profit Margin
(%) Net operating earnings after taxes for the latest quarter divided by revenues for the quarter.
Quick Ratio
Indicates a company’s financial strength; a company’s cash and equivalent divided by current liabili ties.
A proprietary financial data service.
The percentage of variation in the dependent variable that is explained by the regression equation. A relative measure of fit.
Rally Tops
A price level that concludes a short-term rally in an ongoing trend. A bull market will be made up of a series of rally tops.
Random Shock
The unexplained component of an equation that models a time series (e forecast errors).
Random Walk
A theory that says there is no sequential correlation between prices from one day to the next, that prices will act unpredictably as they seek a level in response to supply and demand.
The difference between the high and low price during a given period.
Range Extension
In the CBOT Market Profile, a price movement beyond the range set by the initial auction.
Rate of Change
In which today’s closing price is divided by the closing price n days ago. Multiply by 100. Subtract 100 from this value. ((C today/Cn) * 100) - 100.
The relation that one quantity bears to another of the same kind, with respect to magnitude or numerical value.
The R-squared value adjusted for the number of degrees of freedom.
A short-term decline in price.
Realized/Unrealized P/L
The difference between trading revenues that are generated on positions that have been offset and closed, versus those associated with the marking of open positions to current market prices.
A trading area bounded by horizontal, or near horizontal, lines. It can either be a reversal or continuation pattern, depending on the breakout.
A process that is repetitive and usually dependent upon the results of the previous repetition.
Regression (simple)
A mathematical way of stating the statistical linear relationship between one independent and one dependent variable.
Relative Return
The annualized return on an investment in excess of the average three-month US Treasury bill yield during the same period as the investment. This statistic measures the return on an investment relative to what would have otherwise been earned on a risk-free investment.
Relative Return Standard Deviation
Measures the amount of variability of the relative return. A large relative return standard deviation indicates that the relative return experienced during the holding period fluctuated dramatically and, if the holding period was different, a significantly different relative return would have been achieved. A small relative return standard deviation indicates the opposite.
Relative Strength
A comparison of the price performance of a stock to a market index such as Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index.
Relative Strength Index
An indicator invented by J. Welles Wilder and used to ascertain overbought/oversold and divergent situations.
A kind of candlestick chart that does not take time into account for constructing the chart.
Behavioral finance. Judgment by stereotype.
Residual Value
The standard deviation of the unexplained portion of the monthly return.
A price level at which rising prices have stopped rising and either moved sideways or reversed direction; usually seen as a price chart pattern.
Resistance Line
On a chart, a line drawn indicating the price level at which rising prices have stopped rising and have moved sideways or reversed direction.
The change in value of the average in response to the impulse.
Resting Order
An order placed with a condition or qualifer but not yet executed.
Retention Rate
Percentage of a firm’s aftertax profits that can be put to those earnings retained.
A price movement in the opposite direction of the previous trend.
Return on Assets
(%ROA) The net earnings of a company divided by its assets.
Return on Equity
(%ROE) the net earnings of a company divided by its equity.
Reverse Exponential Moving Average
An exponential moving average computed working backward through the time series, rather than forward, as is the case with a standard EMA. A REMA is used so the target would reflect only future price behavior, not past action that would induce spurious correlation.
Reward-Risk Ratio
Monthly excess return to risk comparison, calculated by dividing alpha by standard deviation. (A ratio better than 0.4 is excellent.)
Reward-Risk Rank
Stocks ranked in descending order by reward-risk ratio.
Reversal Gap
A chart formation where the low of the last day is completely above the previous day’s range with the close above midrange and above the open.
Reversal Stop
A stop that, when hit, is a signal to reverse the current trading position, i.e., from long to short. Also known as stop and reverse.
Price higher than expected.
Risk (Implied)
In which the formula produces the percentage overbought/oversold for a contract using the price, a moving average and the option’s implied volatility.
Risk-Adjusted Return on Capital (RAROC)
Another measure of risk-adjusted profitability, derived as the ratio between P/L and value at risk.
Substituting a far option for a near option on the same underlying instrument at the same strike price; also to roll forward or roll over.
Root Mean Square Percentage Error
(Rmspe) Square root of the average sum of squared errors experessed as a percentage.
Moving funds from one sector to another sector of the stock market as the business cycle unfolds.
Roth IRA
An individual retirement account where contributions are not deductible, taxes are not paid on distributions and allows penalty-free withdrawals for first-time homebuyers and retirees.
Running Market
A market wherein prices are changing rapidly in one direction with very few or no price changes in the opposite direction.
Running Total
Each day’s value is added to yesterday’s total or subtracted if the value is negative.
Sales Growth
The growth in sales in a company.
Sales Load
A service charge of a mutual fund that is added to the costs of owning a stake in the fund.
Saucer Base
Similar to a cup and handle formation, but the saucer base is shallower and rounder in shape.
Savings and Loan Investment Contracts (SLICs)
A negotiated-term deposit issued by a savings and loan.
Chart formation in which the price dips momentarily, forming a cup, before resuming its upward course.
In commodities, purchasing and selling in equal amounts so there is no net position at the end of the trading day; a speculative attempt to make a quick profit by buying at the initial offering price in the hope the issue will increase and can be sold.
A dedicated computer system for options calculations and simulations.
Seasonal Autocorrelation
Autocorrelation that shows up at 12-, 24-, 36- and 48-month lag intervals or at four, eight, 12 and 16 quarterly lags.
Seasonal Trend
A consistent but short-lived rise or drop in market activity that occurs due to predictable changes in climate or calendar.
A consistent and predictable change in market activity that occurs from consistent and predictable events.
Sector Fund
A mutual fund that concentrates on trading a range of securities within a broad industry group, such as technology, energy or financial services.
Sector Rotation
When a block of investment professionals cash out of one industry sector to invest in another.
Secular Trend
Pertaining to a long indefinite period of time.
Security Selection Ratio
The percentage of trades in a given account that liquidate profitably.
The first value used to start a calculation. For example, an exponentially smoothed moving average (EMA) uses the previous day’s EMA for the calculation. On the first day’s calculation of the EMA, you could use a simple moving average as the seed for the EMA.
A Nasdaq execution technology.
Self-Affine Transformation
A rescaling procedure used in fractal geometry and performed on a two-variable system. For example, in a system utilizing an x-axis and y-axis representing time and price, the x-axis could be rescaled by one ratio and/or procedure while the y-axis is rescaled by a different ratio and/or procedure.
Selling Short
Selling a security and then borrowing the security for delivery with the intent of replacing the security at a lower price. In futures trading, selling short is to assume the responsibility of the seller vs. the buyer in the establishment of the futures contract between parties.
Scaling method. With semilog, the distance between each point of a chart is exponential. Semilog scaling is used to compare relative price changes rather than physical point changes.
The rate of change of the moving average in response to the movement of the underlying data. The most sensitive period is that in which the rate of change of the moving average is fastest in response to changes in the sinewave.
Serial Correlation
The systematic relationship between successive observation of a time series.
Serially Independent
A number that is unrelated to the previous number in a given series in any way.
The price at which all outstanding positions in a stock or commodity are marked to market. Typically, the closing price.
Shapiro-Wilkes Test
A statistical test indicating the likelihood that the sample of simulated net returns was drawn from a normal distribution. A small value of this statistic leads to nonacceptance of the null hypothesis that the sample is drawn from a normal distribution.
Shareholder of Record
Share owner of company stock as registered in company files.
Sharpe Ratio Method
(Also see Sterling ratio method) The Sharpe Ratio Method is the classic return/risk measure, given by:

E = Expected return
I = Risk-free interest rate
sd = Standard deviation of returns
Both the Sharpe and the Sterling ratio methods compare returns with variability of returns, as opposed to risk of loss of original investment.
Shaved Candlestick
In candlestick charting, when the shadows of a candle which mark the area between the real body and the extremes and give the appearance of being wicks are absent.
Short Interest
Shares that have been sold short but not yet repurchased.
Short Interest Ratio
A ratio that indicates the number of trading days required to repurchase all of the shares that have been sold short. A short interest ratio of 2.50 would tell us that based on the current volume of trading, it will take two and a half days’ volume to cover all shorts.
In the context of stock or commodity time series historical data, this is usually daily or weekly prices.
Signal Line
In artificial intelligence, a numeric variable that is prevalued in the knowledge base. In moving average jargon, the first moving average is smoothed by a second moving average. The second moving average is the signal line.
Signature Medallion Guaranty
Program used by banks and other institutions to verify a signature.
The probability of rejection on the basis of a statistical test and a hypothesis that there is no validity to the specific claim that two variations of the same thing can be distinguished by a specific procedure.
Simple Moving Average
The arithmetic mean or average of a series of prices over a period of time. The longer the period of time studied (that is, the larger the denominator of the average), the less impact an individual data point has on the average.
Simple Regression
A mathematical way of stating the statistical linear relationship between one independent and one dependent variable.
A wave whose amplitude varies as the sine of a linear function of time.
A descriptive measure of lopsidedness in a distribution.
The difference between estimated transaction costs and actual transaction costs.
See Simple Moving Average.
Small Order Execution System (SOES)
Computerized system developed by Nasdaq for immediate electronic execution of up to 1,000 shares of stock.
Simply, a mathematical technique that removes excess data variability while maintaining a correct ap praisal of the underlying trend.
A trader on the market floor assigned to fill bids/orders in a specific stock out of his/her own account when the order has no competing bid/order to ensure a fair and orderly market.
To set the parameters and variables of a given model.
The frequency decomposition of time series data. This is used to detect periodic fluctuations or cycles in historical price data.
A sharp rise in price in a single day or two; may be as great as 15-30%, indicating the time for an immediate sale.
The linear interpolation between two adjacent points on a curve.
Spot Month
In trading, the current contract month. Also known as the front month.
Spot Prices
Same as cash price, the price at which a commodity is selling at a particular time and place.
A trade in which two related contracts/stocks/bonds/options are traded to exploit the relative differences in price change between the two.
Spread Rolls
Using a spread order to bridge the closing of one position and the establishment of a new one.
A two-day pattern in which on the first day, the market declines below a support point, while the next day sees the market move strongly back up into the congestion area.
Another term for upthrust; occurs when price moves above a pivot top and a widespread reversal ensues as follows: a) two previous closes are reversed, b) close is below pivot top, c) close is below opening and mid-range, d) daily price range is greater than the previous day’s range.
In which market activity is characterized by a trend, then sideways movements, followed by another trend and further sideways movement.
Standard Deviation
The positive square root of the expected value of the square of the difference between a random variable and its mean. A measure of the fluctuation in a stock’s monthly return over the preceding year.
Standard Error of the Estimate (SEE)
A measure of absolute fit. One can use this measure to compare the last portion of this model with another portion of the same dependent variable.
Standardized Unanticipated Earnings
(SUE) A company’s average earnings surprise is compared with analyst earnings estimates dispersion, which can be used to estimate the likelihood of earnings surprises.
A distribution of a quantity that does not change over time.
Stationary Time Series
Implies that no trend is observed in the time series. Identified when the time series has a constant mean and variance.
Step Function
A function defined on an interval so that the interval can be partitioned into a finite number of subinter vals on each of which the function is a constant. Also known as a simple function.
Stepwise Regression
A mathematical technique to choose the independent variables that best describe the behavior of the dependent, in order of improving description.
Sterling Ratio Method
A measure of risk/return given by:

T = Three-year average annual return
AM = Three-year average maximum annual drawdown. Both Sharpe and Sterling ratio methods compare returns with variability of returns, as opposed to risk of loss of original investment.
Literally means random.
Stochastics Oscillator
An overbought/oversold indicator that compares today’s price to a preset window of high and low prices. These data are then transformed into a range between zero and 100 and then smoothed.
Stock Index Futures
A futures contract traded that uses a market index as the underlying instrument. Typically, the value of the contract is $500 times the underlying index. The delivery mechanism is usually cash settlement.
Stop and Reverse (SAR)
A stop that, when hit, is a signal to reverse the current trading position, i.e., from long to short. Also known as reversal stop .
Stop Loss
The risk management technique in which the trade is liquidated to halt any further decline in value.
After a trend, the market will enter into a trading range and have a tendency to trade to levels where stop-loss orders have been placed.
Buy stops are orders that are placed at a predetermined price over the current price of the market. The order becomes a "buy at the market" order if the market is at or above to the price of the stop order. Sell stops are orders that are placed with a predetermined price below the current price. Sell-stop orders become "Sell at the market" orders if the market trades at or below the price of the stop order.
The purchase or sale of an equivalent number of puts and calls on an underlying stock with the same exer cise price and expiration date.
Strange Attractor
A balance point between a set of conflicting forces.
The purchase or sale of an equivalent number of puts and calls on an underlying stock with the same expira tion date but a different exercise price. Usually, the put has a low strike price and the call has a higher strike price.
Street Name
Stock ownership in which shares are registered to a brokerage or other financial institution and held.
Strike Price
The price per unit at which the holder of an option may receive or deliver the underlying unit; also known as the exercise price .
An option strategy in which an investor buys one call and two puts on the same underlying security with the same exercise price and expiration date.
The price at which an exercised option delivers the underlying securities.
The pseudonym for Irish chemist W.S. Gosset, who published "The Probable Error at a Mean" under that name in 1908.
Sum of Squared Residuals (SSR)
Measure related to the R-squared value and the smaller the number, the higher will be the R-squared, and the better the regression.
NYSE execution technology.

A historical price level at which falling prices have stopped falling and either moved sideways or reversed direction; usually seen as a price chart pattern.
Support Line
On a chart, a line drawn indicating the price level at which falling prices have stopped falling and have moved sideways or reversed direction.
The sale of one security to purchase another with similar features.
Swing Chart
A chart that has a straight line drawn from each price extreme to the next price extreme based on a set criteria such as percentages or number of days. For example, percentage price changes of less than 5% will not be measured in the swing chart.
The measurement of movement of the price of a tradable between extreme highs and lows.
Synergistic Market Analysis
Also known as synergistic analysis . An analytical method that merges technical and fundamental analysis with an emphasis on intermarket analysis.
Synthetic Securities
Security created by buying and writing a combination of options that imitate the risk and profit profile of a security.
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