At The Market


DEFINITION of 'At The Market'

An order to buy or sell a stock or futures contract at the prevailing market bid or ask price at the time the order is processed. An at-the-market order is generally executed within minutes of being received and can be placed anytime during market hours. If such an order is received after regular hours, it will be executed as soon as trading resumes.


Generally one buys or sells at the market to assure that the desired transaction takes place. When an investor places an order at the market, he or she is willing to forgo price discrimination for speediness of entry to or exit from a futures contract.
During raging bull markets, buy limit orders (orders that are only fulfilled at the limit price or lower) often don't get executed. Likewise, sell limit orders (orders that are only fulfilled at the limit price or higher) are often unconsummated during bear markets. Both scenarios can cause considerable angst to investors.

  1. Stop-Loss Order

    An order placed with a broker to sell a security when it reaches ...
  2. Limit Order

    An order placed with a brokerage to buy or sell a set number ...
  3. Market Sentiment

    The overall attitude of investors toward a particular security ...
  4. Futures Contract

    A contractual agreement, generally made on the trading floor ...
  5. Market Order

    An order that an investor makes through a broker or brokerage ...
  6. Momo Play

    A slang term used to describe an advanced trading strategy based ...
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    A Primer On The Forex Market

    Moving from equities to currencies requires you to adjust how you interpret quotes, margin, spreads and rollovers.
  2. Options & Futures

    Using Open Interest To Find Bull/Bear Signals

    Volume should inform your use of this indicator in confirming trends and reversals.
  3. Options & Futures

    Intro To Open Interest In The Futures Market

    Applied primarily to the futures market, this indicator confirms trends and reversals.
  4. Options & Futures

    An Introduction To Managed Futures

    Their inverse correlation with stocks and bonds make these alternative investments worth getting to know.
  5. Options & Futures

    Interpreting Volume For The Futures Market

    Learn how to read the volume reports, look at the relation to liquidity and interpret volume using open interest.
  6. Insurance

    Futures Fundamentals

    For those who are new to futures but want a solid understanding of them, this tutorial explains what futures contracts are, how they work and why investors use them.
  7. Investing

    In Search of the Rate-Proof Portfolio

    After October’s better-than-expected employment report, a December Federal Reserve (Fed) liftoff is looking more likely than it was earlier this fall.
  8. Investing

    Time to Bring Active Back into a Portfolio?

    While stocks have rallied since the economic recovery in 2009, many active portfolio managers have struggled to deliver investor returns in excess.
  9. Investing

    Where the Price is Right for Dividends

    There are two broad schools of thought for equity income investing: The first pays the highest dividend yields and the second focuses on healthy yields.
  10. Professionals

    Top 3 Misconceptions About Financial Analysts

    Learn misconceptions about financial analysts, such as they exclusively study the stock market, they are the same as financial advisors and they are all rich.
  1. Do hedge funds invest in commodities?

    There are several hedge funds that invest in commodities. Many hedge funds have broad macroeconomic strategies and invest ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can mutual funds invest in options and futures?

    Mutual funds invest in not only stocks and fixed-income securities but also options and futures. There exists a separate ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Where do penny stocks trade?

    Generally, penny stocks are traded through the use of the Over the Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) and through pink sheets. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Where can I buy penny stocks?

    Some penny stocks, those using the definition of trading for less than $5 per share, are traded on regular exchanges such ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does the stock market react to changes in the Federal Funds Rate?

    The stock market reacts to changes in the federal funds rate in various ways depending on where it is in the business cycle. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do futures contracts roll over?

    Traders roll over futures contracts to switch from the front month contract that is close to expiration to another contract ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Cyber Monday

    An expression used in online retailing to describe the Monday following U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. Cyber Monday is generally ...
  2. Bar Chart

    A style of chart used by some technical analysts, on which, as illustrated below, the top of the vertical line indicates ...
  3. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  4. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  5. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  6. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
Trading Center