DEFINITION of 'Break'
A term used in futures markets to describe a rapid and sharp price decline. Breaks generally occur due to unforeseen external factors that affect the spot price of commodities. If a break is large enough, exchange safety measures will be implemented to reduce trading for the day.
A break also refers to a discrepancy in the accounting books of a brokerage firm.
BREAKING DOWN 'Break'
A sudden and unexpected change or move in the price or market value of a security. External factors could include unexpected weather or natural disasters. This type of break is not necessarily something negative as it could occur either upward or downward. A break, or market break, can also occur throughout the entire stock market.
In business, this also refers to a pricing structure that gives different discounts at various volume levels.