What Is Print?

'Print' can refer to (1) increasing the money supply or (2) any type of financial information transcribed into a hard copy that is either printed or formatted for printing. Print may further refer to when the price of a securities trade is timestamped by an exchange. Finally, print may be used by technical traders to (3) indicate the drawing of a candlestick pattern on a chart.

The U.S. government is responsible for the printing of money through the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP). Historically the term print has also been associated with the ticker tape where trades were listed, or printed, as they were executed. In the modern day financial markets there can be several situations in which trade execution leads to the generation of a print copy, but print is increasingly used for the generation of digital records as well.

The word 'print' comes from the Old French "preinte", which means 'pressed'.

Understanding 'Print'

Printing physical currency and copies of financial information is central to the infrastructure procedures that the U.S. financial market is built upon. Physical currency is used in cash transactions and managed by the Federal Reserve primarily through reserve requirements for banks. For recordkeeping purposes, all types of print documentation are generated across the financial markets to provide confirmations and details on transactions. In some situations, print can also refer to the real time posting of price data on a technical analysis chart.

Key Takeaways

  • The word 'print' may refer to several finance-related concepts.
  • When governments issue new currency or increase the money supply it is said to print money.
  • Print can also refer to the generation of physical or digital records of prices, transactions, or other data.
  • For technical analysis, print relates to the drawing of candlestick charts.

Print in Money Supply

Print currency is managed by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. BEP is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury with locations in Washington, D.C. and Fort Worth, Texas. The Federal Reserve works closely with the Department of the Treasury and serves as its bank. Together the two entities facilitate the printing of money. One key way that the Federal Reserve manages the amount of print currency in circulation is through reserve requirements which require banks to hold a specified amount of print currency in their vaults.

Print in Transactions and Investment Communications

All types of trade confirmations, tickets and settlement documents are generated when a transaction occurs. Any type of confirmation provided from a trading transaction may be considered print.

Print confirmations will typically provide all of the details pertaining to a particular trade with pertinent information including the transaction price, number of shares and time of execution. The confirmation documents will typically be formatted for physical printing but may be stored digitally for recordkeeping purposes. All types of investors will generate print confirmations with their trades. Institutional investors typically generate many print confirmations which are managed through operational procedures and usually stored digitally for recordkeeping.

Marketing teams and journalist also generate print investment communications which can be available to investors. Individuals funds are required to register and provide comprehensive print documentation for investors. Some investors may also use print copies of financial news publications as an important source for investment information. Many investors for example, choose to view bond listings and other financial quotes directly from the Wall Street Journal print edition.

Print in Technical Analysis

In technical analysis print can also sometimes refer to the drawing of a candlestick pattern on a technical analysis chart. These charts can be time-based, as with a five-minute chart, or activity based, such as a 144-tick chart. Regardless of the data interval, each bar prints as it forms and becomes printed at the end of the selected date interval.

In this scenario, the term print can refer to the execution of a trade or the drawing of a price bar on a candlestick diagram. Technical traders may use the print to establish a position as soon as a price is printed at a specified level.