DEFINITION of 'Fast Market'

A condition that will be officially declared by a stock market exchange when the financial markets are experiencing unusually high levels of volatility, combined with unusually heavy trading. Fast markets occur rarely, but when one does occur, brokers are not held to the same constraints as they are during a regular market.


Inexperienced investors are more likely to get burned in a fast market because of the unique problems that arise under extreme trading conditions. One problem is that quotes can become inaccurate when they can't keep up with the pace of trading. Another problem is that brokers may not be able to fill orders when investors want or expect them to, so their securities may be bought and sold at undesirable price levels that don't provide the return the investor anticipated.

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