DEFINITION of 'Write Out'
A dual trade transaction enacted by a specialist in an individual stock issue. The first trade in a write out will be between the specialist and a floor trader, using the specialist's own inventory of stock, which is sold to the trader. The trader then executes the second part of the trade by transacting the same number of shares with an end client or firm.
BREAKING DOWN 'Write Out'
Specialists are given daily inventories of stock to use as they see fit to maintain an orderly market in the stocks in which they make markets. By stepping in to purchase or sell shares as needed, they can ensure a smooth and orderly market, even during rocky trading days. The advent of electronic trading platforms has limited the need for specialists and write outs, but so far, machines have not completely erased the need for people on the trading floor.