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GlossaryThe Striker Online Glossary is a list of terms and concepts used in
futures trading. This glossary continues to grow and we encourage
you to visit if there are new terms or concepts you are unfamiliar
with. In addition, you may contact one of our experienced brokers
at 800-920-5808 for questions on trading terms,
concepts or information.
Departments in a financial institution in which the majority of their work is accounting, balancing, clearing, and bookkeeping, not directly in dealing with clients.
The difference between the current cash price and the futures price of the same commodity. The basis is determined by the costs of actually holding the commodity versus contracting to buy it for a later delivery (i.e. a futures contract). The basis is affected by other influences as well, such as unusual situations in supply or demand. Unless otherwise specified, the price of the nearby futures contract month is generally used to calculate the basis. (See Carrying Charge)
A one one- hundredth of one percent (i.e., 0.01%), used to express interest rates and bond yield differentials. The smallest measure used in quoting yields on bonds and notes.
The risk of a movement between two different interest rate profiles, for example, prime lending rate and US Treasury rates.
A technical charting pattern that looks like a flag with a mast on the left side. Flags result from price fluctuations within a narrow range, they mark a consolidation before the previous move resumes.
Bear Market (bear/bearish)
A market in which prices are declining. A trader who believes prices will move lower is called a “bear.” A period of generally failing prices and pessimistic attitudes.
A measure of an investment's volatility. The lower the beta, the less risky the investment.
A means of measuring the volatility of an individual market (security, future, financial instrument) in comparison with the market as a whole. A beta of 1 indicates that the individual market’s price will move with the overall market.
An indication of a trader of a willingness to buy a security. The price at which an investor can sell.
The difference between the bid price and the offer price.
Board of Trade
Any exchange or association of persons who are engaged in the business of buying or selling any commodity or receiving the same for sale on consignment. It usually means an exchange where commodity futures and/or options are traded. Sometimes referred to as Contract Market or Exchange.
A rapid and sharp price decline.
(1) The point at which gains equal losses. (2) The price a market must reach for an option buyer to avoid a loss if he exercises. For a call, it is the strike price plus the premium paid. For a put, it is the strike price minus the premium paid.
An individual or firm that charges a fee or commission for executing buy and sell orders placed by another individual or firm, floor broker in commodities futures trading, a person who actually executes orders on the trading floor of an exchange; an account executive (associated person) as the person who deals with customers and their orders in commission house offices.
A technical charting pattern that looks like a flag with a mast on right side. Flags result from price fluctuations within a narrow range, they mark a consolidation before the previous move resumes.
Bull Market (bull/bullish)
A market in which prices are rising. A trader who believes prices will move higher is called a “bull”. A news item is considered bullish if it is expected to bring on higher prices.
A purchase to offset, cover or close a short position.
Buy Limit order
An order to a broker to buy a specified quantity of a security at or below a specified price (called the limit price).
Buy on close
Buying securities, futures or other financial instruments at the end of a trading session at a price within the closing range.
Buy on opening
Buying securities, futures or other financial instruments at the beginning of a trading session at a price within the opening range.
Buy Stop Order
An order to buy a market that is entered at a price above the current offering price and that is triggered when the market price touches or goes through the buy stop price.
Buying Hedge (or Long Hedge)
Buying futures contracts (or other financial instruments) to protect against possible increased cost of inputs slated for futures uses. See Hedging.
RISK DISCLOSURE STATEMENT -
The risk of loss in trading commodity futures contracts can be substantial. You should, therefore,
carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your circumstances and financial
resources. You should be aware of the following points:
(1) You may sustain a total loss of the funds that you deposit with your broker to establish or
maintain a position in the commodity futures market, and you may incur losses beyond these amounts. If
the market moves against your position, you may be called upon by your broker to deposit a substantial
amount of additional margin funds, on short notice, in order to maintain your position. If you do not
provide the required funds within the time required by your broker, your position may be liquidated at a
loss, and you will be liable for any resulting deficit in your account.
(2) The funds you deposit with a futures commission merchant for trading futures positions are not
protected by insurance in the event of the bankruptcy or insolvency of the futures commission merchant,
or in the event your funds are misappropriated.
(3) The funds you deposit with a futures commission merchant for trading futures positions are not
protected by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation even if the futures commission merchant is
registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a broker or dealer.
(4) The funds you deposit with a futures commission merchant are generally not guaranteed or
insured by a derivatives clearing organization in the event of the bankruptcy or insolvency of the futures
commission merchant, or if the futures commission merchant is otherwise unable to refund your funds.
Certain derivatives clearing organizations, however, may have programs that provide limited insurance to
customers. You should inquire of your futures commission merchant whether your funds will be insured
by a derivatives clearing organization and you should understand the benefits and limitations of such
(5) The funds you deposit with a futures commission merchant are not held by the futures
commission merchant in a separate account for your individual benefit. Futures commission merchants
commingle the funds received from customers in one or more accounts and you may be exposed to
losses incurred by other customers if the futures commission merchant does not have sufficient capital to
cover such other customers' trading losses.
(6) The funds you deposit with a futures commission merchant may be invested by the futures
commission merchant in certain types of financial instruments that have been approved by the
Commission for the purpose of such investments. Permitted investments are listed in Commission
Regulation 1.25 and include: U.S. government securities; municipal securities; money market mutual
funds; and certain corporate notes and bonds. The futures commission merchant may retain the interest
and other earnings realized from its investment of customer funds. You should be familiar with the types
of financial instruments that a futures commission merchant may invest customer funds in.
(7) Futures commission merchants are permitted to deposit customer funds with affiliated entities,
such as affiliated banks, securities brokers or dealers, or foreign brokers. You should inquire as to
whether your futures commission merchant deposits funds with affiliates and assess whether such
deposits by the futures commission merchant with its affiliates increases the risks to your funds.
(8) You should consult your futures commission merchant concerning the nature of the protections
available to safeguard funds or property deposited for your account.
(9) Under certain market conditions, you may find it difficult or impossible to liquidate a position. This
can occur, for example, when the market reaches a daily price fluctuation limit ("limit move").
(10) All futures positions involve risk, and a "spread" position may not be less risky than an outright
(11) The high degree of leverage (gearing) that is often obtainable in futures trading because of the
small margin requirements can work against you as well as for you. Leverage (gearing) can lead to large
(12) In addition to the risks noted in the paragraphs enumerated above, you should be familiar with
the futures commission merchant you select to entrust your funds for trading futures positions. Beginning
July 12, 2014, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will require each futures commission
merchant to make publicly available on its Web site firm specific disclosures and financial information to
assist you with your assessment and selection of a futures commission merchant.
ALL OF THE POINTS NOTED ABOVE APPLY TO ALL FUTURES TRADING WHETHER FOREIGN
OR DOMESTIC. IN ADDITION, IF YOU ARE CONTEMPLATING TRADING FOREIGN FUTURES OR
OPTIONS CONTRACTS, YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING ADDITIONAL RISKS:
(13) Foreign futures transactions involve executing and clearing trades on a foreign exchange. This
is the case even if the foreign exchange is formally "linked" to a domestic exchange, whereby a trade
executed on one exchange liquidates or establishes a position on the other exchange. No domestic
organization regulates the activities of a foreign exchange, including the execution, delivery, and clearing
of transactions on such an exchange, and no domestic regulator has the power to compel enforcement
of the rules of the foreign exchange or the laws of the foreign country. Moreover, such laws or regulations
will vary depending on the foreign country in which the transaction occurs. For these reasons, customers
who trade on foreign exchanges may not be afforded certain of the protections which apply to domestic
transactions, including the right to use domestic alternative dispute resolution procedures. In particular,
funds received from customers to margin foreign futures transactions may not be provided the same
protections as funds received to margin futures transactions on domestic exchanges. Before you trade,
you should familiarize yourself with the foreign rules which will apply to your particular transaction.
(14) Finally, you should be aware that the price of any foreign futures or option contract and,
therefore, the potential profit and loss resulting therefrom, may be affected by any fluctuation in the
foreign exchange rate between the time the order is placed and the foreign futures contract is liquidated
or the foreign option contract is liquidated or exercised.
THIS BRIEF STATEMENT CANNOT, OF COURSE, DISCLOSE ALL THE RISKS AND OTHER
ASPECTS OF THE COMMODITY MARKETS.