DEFINITION of 'Hard Stop'

A price level that, if reached, will trigger an order to sell an underlying security. Hard stops are set at a constant price and are inherently good until cancelled. A hard stop is used to protect the downside of holding an investment by always being active, and is only triggered once the price reaches the specified stop level.

BREAKING DOWN 'Hard Stop'

A hard stop is placed in advance of an adverse move and remains active until the price of the underlying security moves beyond the stop level. Many traders will choose to set a hard stop once the price of their investment becomes profitable and will leave the order active until it reaches the price target.

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