DEFINITION of 'Flash Price'
An up-to-the-minute quote for a heavily-traded stock that is intentionally displayed more frequently than other stocks' quotes when heavy trading volume in the market as a whole has caused the ticker to lag by several minutes behind real-time quotes. Flash prices are displayed every five minutes until the ticker catches up.
BREAKING DOWN 'Flash Price'
Flash prices are important because without real-time information about a security's price and volume, day traders cannot make well-informed buy and sell decisions. With so many securities being traded, tickers must prioritize the quotes they display based on factors such as volume, price change, recent news and popularity. Real-time tickers weren't introduced to the market until 1996. Before that, quotes displayed on the ticker always lagged 15 to 20 minutes behind the actual transactions.