Definitions of durations
Day Trading: For US securities, day orders are live for the day and are canceled at the end of the trading day.
GTC (good ’til cancel): For U.S. securities, the orders are open during market hours through multiple days, and remain open until they are fully executed, or are cancelled.
GTC orders filled on multiple days will incur a separate commission each day. Remember to check your GTC orders consistently and re-enter when necessary.
Stop & stop limits
Stop order: A trade sent to market at a price other than the current market price. You are requesting the order be filled only when it reaches your stop price.
Note: when your stop price is triggered a market order is sent to the exchange. Exchanges have different criteria when triggering a stop price. Some exchanges use the last trade price, while others use the bid/ask method – a matching bid (ask) will trigger your stop sell (buy) order.
Stop limits: when a stop limit is triggered, it is sent to the market as a limit order, as per the limit setup. When buying (selling) U.S. stocks, the limit must be equal or higher (lower) than the stop. For Canadian stocks, the limit price must be equal to the stop price.
Trailing stop: these orders are trailing stops that adjust as the stock price moves. When entering the stop, enter the trailing amount not the desired price.
Market & limit orders
Market orders: these orders are routed directly to the exchange and executed at the best available price.
Limit orders: a limit order allows you to set the maximum buy price you would pay and the minimum sell price you would accept. Limit orders are routed to the exchange and add liquidity to the books unless they are immediately executable.
Buy to open: used to open a long option position, be it a call or a put.
Sell to close: used to close a long option position, be it a call or a put.
Sell to open: used to open a short or naked option position, be it a call, put, or a covered call.
Buy to close: used to close a short or naked option position, be it a call, put, or a covered call.
Short & cover
Shorting: this strategy is selling stock you do not own. You would borrow stock in the hope the price will fall and you can buy it back at a lower price. Please be aware that not all stocks are available to short and there is a risk that you could be asked to buy the stock back at anytime.
Covering: this is closing a short position i.e. buying back the shorted (borrowed) shares.
ARCA: (Archipelago, owned by NYSE Euronext) Orders are executable during market hours and may execute in the pre- and post-market*. ARCA charges for executions that remove liquidity.
INET: (Instanet, owned by NASDAQ) Orders are executable during market hours and may execute in the pre- and post-market*. INET charges for executions that remove liquidity.
NYSE: (owned by NYSE Euronext) Orders are executable during market hours only. NYSE charges for executions that remove liquidity.
Margin requirement & maintenance excess
Margin requirement: This is the minimum amount required to secure any loans (if applicable) on your account.
Maintenance excess: The excess margin that is available to you above your margin requirements.
Buying power: The maximum value of securities you can buy provided that the securities are eligible for 4:1 margin. Buying power is typically four times your maintenance excess.