DEFINITION of 'Tape Is Late'

A situation on the trading floor where trading volume is so heavy that the real-time ticker quotes are delayed by a minute or two. When the tape is late some price or volume digits will be deleted.

BREAKING DOWN 'Tape Is Late'

The term comes from years ago when the "tape" was actually paper and the printer couldn't keep up with trading activity. In the modern stock market this isn't as much of an issue because data is generally delivered electronically.

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