Specialist Unit

DEFINITION of 'Specialist Unit'

A group of firms or individuals that act as a market maker for one or many stocks trading on an exchange. A specialist unit maintains a stable market in a given security by acting as both a principal and agent for brokers. As a principal, a specialist unit will hold its own inventory of stock, in order to facilitate liquidity for a given trade.

BREAKING DOWN 'Specialist Unit'

Specialist units are also responsible for posting relatively narrow bid-ask spreads to maintain liquidity, managing limit orders and large block orders. Additionally, a specialist unit will act as a form of balance in the market by taking the opposing side of bullish or bearish sentiment for a given stock by trading out of its own inventory.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. Who employs the specialists at New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)? Do they work for themselves, ...

    Before we address this question, let's review what specialists do. Specialists are people on the trading floor of an exchange, ... Read Answer >>
  2. What's the difference between a Nasdaq market maker and a NYSE specialist?

    What's the main difference between a specialist and a market maker? Not much. Both the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) specialist ... Read Answer >>
  3. A _______ is a person on the trading floor of certain exchanges who holds an inventory ...

    The correct answer is d. A good example of an exchange using the specialist system is the NYSE. Each stock listed on the ... Read Answer >>
  4. When a floor broker asks a specialist, “How’s PDQ?” ...

    The correct answer is d. When the specialist gave the floor broker the quote of “59.20 to 35; 6 by 11,” the quote meant that ... Read Answer >>
  5. When a floor broker asks a specialist, “How’s PDQ?” ...

    The correct answer is d) When the specialist gave the floor broker the quote of “59.20 to 35; 6 by 11,”  the quote meant ... Read Answer >>
  6. What exactly is being done when shares are bought and sold?

    Most stocks are traded on physical or virtual exchanges. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), for example, is a physical exchange ... Read Answer >>
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