Order Imbalance

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Order Imbalance'

A situation resulting from an excess of buy or sell orders for a specific security on a trading exchange, making it impossible to match the buyers' and sellers' orders. For securities that are overseen by a market maker or specialist, shares may be brought in from a specified reserve to add liquidity, temporarily clearing out excess orders from the inventory so that the trading in the security can resume at an orderly level. Extreme cases of order imbalance may cause suspension of trading until the imbalance is resolved.


INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Order Imbalance'

Order imbalances can often occur when major news hits a stock, such as an earnings release, change in guidance, or merger and acquisition activity. Imbalances can move securities to the upside or downside, but most imbalances get worked out within a few minutes or hours in one daily session. Smaller, less liquid securities can have imbalances that last longer than a single trading session because there are fewer shares in the hands of fewer people.

Investors can protect themselves against the volatile price changes that can arise from order imbalances by using limit orders when placing trades, rather than market orders.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Limit Order

    An order placed with a brokerage to buy or sell a set number ...
  2. Buyers/Sellers On Balance

    1. A ratio based on aggregate market orders for securities that ...
  3. Spread

    1. The difference between the bid and the ask price of a security ...
  4. Ask

    The price a seller is willing to accept for a security, also ...
  5. Specialist

    A member of an exchange who acts as the market maker to facilitate ...
  6. Tick

    The minimum upward or downward movement in the price of a security. ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What's the difference between a stop and a limit order?

    Different types of orders allow you to be more specific about how you'd like your broker to fulfill your trades. When you ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do stop or limit orders protect you against gaps in a stock's price?

    Many individuals are hesitant to invest in the stock market because of the large gaps in prices talked about in the news. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Under what circumstances would someone enter into a repurchase agreement?

    In finance, a repurchase agreement represents a contract between two parties, where one party sells a security to the other ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Is there a way to include intangible assets in book-to-market ratio calculations?

    The book-to-market ratio is used in fundamental analysis to identify whether a company's securities are overvalued or undervalued. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What types of corporations would be expected to have higher growth rates than more ...

    Investors looking for corporations with higher-than-average growth rates have several factors to consider. Although younger ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What tax implications are there for parties involved with a reverse repurchase agreement?

    A reverse repurchase agreement – sometimes referred to as a reverse repo – is the purchase of an asset with a simultaneous ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    Understanding Order Execution

    Find out the various ways in which a broker can fill an order, which can affect costs.
  2. Professionals

    How Brokers Can Avoid A Market-Maker's Tricks

    Ensure that you and your clients are getting the best deal by avoiding these three pitfalls.
  3. Active Trading Fundamentals

    The Stop-Loss Order - Make Sure You Use It

    It's a simple but powerful tool to help you implement your stock-investment strategy. Find out how.
  4. Investing Basics

    What are the Pink Sheets?

    Pink Sheets is a listing of over-the-counter stocks that are not listed on any established exchange such as the New York Stock Exchange or the NASDAQ.
  5. Investing Basics

    Explaining Idiosyncratic Risk

    Idiosyncratic risk is the risk inherent in a particular investment due to the unique characteristics of that investment.
  6. Investing

    Prospering In The Next Bear Market: Here's How

    Prepare to survive, and even prosper, in the impending bear market, by considering and putting into action the following four strategies.
  7. Stock Analysis

    3 Stocks To Buy and Hold For the Rest of 2015

    One of the dominant themes to consider for 2015 is the normalization of monetary policy as the Fed raises interest rates.
  8. Economics

    Greece Isn’t The Only Problem U.S. Stocks Face

    Both stocks and bonds fell last week, due to several factors dampening investor sentiment. The most obvious one is the evolving situation in Greece.
  9. Investing Basics

    What Does Spot Price Mean?

    Spot price is the current price at which a security may be bought or sold.
  10. Investing Basics

    How Does a Dividend Reinvestment Plan Work?

    A dividend reinvestment plan allows investors to use their dividends to purchase more shares of the corporation’s stock, rather than receiving payment.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Social Security

    A United States federal program of social insurance and benefits developed in 1935. The Social Security program's benefits ...
  2. American Dream

    The belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version ...
  3. Multicurrency Note Facility

    A credit facility that finances short- to medium-term Euro notes. Multicurrency note facilities are denominated in many currencies. ...
  4. National Currency

    The currency or legal tender issued by a nation's central bank or monetary authority. The national currency of a nation is ...
  5. Treasury Yield

    The return on investment, expressed as a percentage, on the debt obligations of the U.S. government. Treasuries are considered ...
  6. Bund

    A bond issued by Germany's federal government, or the German word for "bond." Bunds are the German equivalent of U.S. Treasury ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!