Wide Open


DEFINITION of 'Wide Open'

The gap between a stock's bid price and the ask price at the commencement of trading. A wide open often occurs when there is a scarcity of competitive bid and ask prices or when trading has been suspended for whatever reason.


This situation can arise because market makers and market participants have yet to submit their bid and ask prices to the market, leaving very few (uncompetitive) orders to appear as the lowest ask and highest bid price.

Wide opens are generally indicative of a thinly-traded stock, i.e. an issue that is not very liquid. Many Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board and pink sheet stocks (penny stocks) routinely feature wide opens, as well as wider bid-ask spreads throughout the trading day. Wide opens and higher spreads can make it difficult for momentum traders and others to gauge market direction.

  1. Ask

    The price a seller is willing to accept for a security, also ...
  2. Day Order

    An order to buy or sell a security that automatically expires ...
  3. Liquid Market

    A market with many bid and ask offers, low spreads and low volatility. ...
  4. Market Maker

    A broker-dealer firm that accepts the risk of holding a certain ...
  5. Bid

    1. An offer made by an investor, a trader or a dealer to buy ...
  6. Bid-Ask Spread

    The amount by which the ask price exceeds the bid. This is essentially ...
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  1. Do penny stocks trade after hours?

    Penny stocks are common shares of public companies that trade at a low price per share. These companies are normally small, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do penny stocks pay dividends?

    Because of the small market capitalization and revenues typical of most penny stocks, there are very few that offer dividends. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can you buy penny stocks in an IRA?

    It is possible to trade penny stocks through an individual retirement accounts, or IRA. However, penny stocks are generally ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Where do penny stocks trade?

    Generally, penny stocks are traded through the use of the Over the Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) and through pink sheets. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Where can I buy penny stocks?

    Some penny stocks, those using the definition of trading for less than $5 per share, are traded on regular exchanges such ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Why would you undertake a reverse split?

    Most reverse stock splits are undertaken by small, micro penny stocks that need to maintain the minimum price requirements ... Read Full Answer >>

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