Tick

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DEFINITION of 'Tick'

The minimum upward or downward movement in the price of a security. The term "tick" also refers to the change in the price of a security from trade to trade. Since 2001, with the advent of decimalization, the minimum tick size for stocks trading above $1 is 1 cent.

BREAKING DOWN 'Tick'

Prior to April, 2001, the minimum tick size was 1/16th of a dollar, which meant that a stock could only move in increments of $0.0625. Needless to say, while the introduction of decimalization has benefited investors through much better bid-ask spreads and better price discovery, it has also made market-making a less profitable (and riskier) activity.


The term "tick" is also used in reference to the direction of the price of a stock, with an "uptick" referring to a trade where the transaction has occurred at a price higher than the previous transaction, and a "downtick" referring to a transaction that has occurred at a lower price. In this context, the uptick rule refers to a trading restriction that prohibits short selling, except on an uptick, presumably to alleviate downward pressure on a stock when it is already declining.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the downtick-uptick rule on the NYSE?

    To ensure orderly markets, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has a set of restrictions that it can implement when experiencing ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Is it better practice to use a stop order or a limit order?

    Both stop orders and limit orders have their advantages and disadvantages; traders need to decide between the two based on ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do day traders capture profits from the difference between bid and ask prices?

    Day traders capture profits from the difference between bid and ask prices by scalping stock. Sensing that a stock is going ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How is buying on margin regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)?

    The Federal Reserve Board and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) regulate buying on margin to a greater ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why is the Vortex Indicator (VI) important for traders and analysts?

    Doug Siepman and Etienne Botes developed the vortex indicator to anticipate reversals in price trends. They believed that ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is a common strategy traders implement when using the Trade Volume Index (TVI)?

    The trade volume index (TVI) indicates whether an asset is being accumulated or sold. It is calculated using intraday tick ... Read Full Answer >>

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