Financial Terms

ICE Data Services -

Some additional eSignal Watchlist descriptions are available here


Bid Price - The bid is the highest price buyers are willing to pay for a financial security, such as a stock, at a given point in time.

Ask Price - The ask (or offer) is the price at which the investor is willing to sell the security. A bid price is almost always lower than an ask price.

High - The highest price of the current trading day.

Low - The lowest price of the current trading day. 

Previous Close - Closing price of the previous Regular Trading Session

Close - Closing price (or last trade) of the regular trading session. 

Position - A position is the amount of a security, asset, or property that is owned (or sold short) by an individual or company.

Long Position - Indicates that the investor has purchased shares believing the price of the security will go higher.

Short Position - A short position indicates that the investor has sold shares believing the the price will fall.

Settlement Price - Refers to the price at which an asset closes or of which a derivatives contract will reference at the end of each trading day and/or upon its expiration.

Fill - Refers to an order that has been executed.

Bullish - The belief that the marker price will rise.

Bearish - The belief that the market price will fall.


Common Stock - A security that represents an ownership share in a company.
Examples: AAPL, IBM, INTC

Class Stock - A type of stock that differentiates the level of voting rights a shareholder will receive. A Class A share may be available to the public and count as one vote while a Class B share might not be available to the public to limit ownership to company founders and top executives. A Class C share may be similar to Class A in ownership but may lack voting rights. 

Examples: BRK.A, BRK.B

Preferred Stock - This type of stock pays shareholders a specified dividend but has limited or no voting rights. Preferred stock has priority over common stock for receiving dividends as well as receiving company assets in the event of bankruptcy. These would typically have a series designation (A, B, C, etc.)

Examples: WFC/PA, USB/PA, NMK/PB

When Issued Stock - Security that has been authorized but not yet issued due to stock splits, mergers, or other similar situations. 
Past examples: SAFE/I

Warrant - Similar to stock option as they give the buyer a right to buy/sell at a certain price by a specific date.

Examples: AP/W, OWL/W, TGR/W

Right - Privilege granted to shareholders to subscribe to shares of new issues of common stock before it's offered to the public. 

Past Example: VHAQ/R

Unit - More than one class of securities traded together such as a combination of common share and warrants. 

Examples: TRTL.U, MBSC.U, TGR.U

Unit Trust - An unincorporated mutual fund structure that allows funds to hold assets and provide profits that go to individual unit owners instead of reinvesting back to the fund. 


Initial Public Offering (IPO) - An initial public offering (IPO) refers to the process of offering shares of a private corporation to the public in a new stock issuance for the first time. An IPO allows a company to raise equity capital from public investors.

Indices, ETFs, and Mutual Funds

Index - Tracks a group of stocks to gauge market performance.

Examples: $INDU, $SPX, $COMPQ

Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) - An ETF is a type of investment security that operates much like a mutual fund. Typically, ETFs will track a particular index, sector, commodity, or other assets, but unlike mutual funds, ETFs can be purchased or sold on a stock exchange the same way that a regular stock can.

Examples: SPY, QQQ, XLE, IVV

Mutual Fund - Mutual funds are investment strategies that allow you to pool your money together with other investors to purchase a collection of stocks, bonds, or other securities that might be difficult to recreate on your own. This is often referred to as a portfolio. The price of the mutual fund, also known as its net asset value (NAV) is determined by the total value of the securities in the portfolio, divided by the number of the fund's outstanding shares. 



Futures - Agreement to buy or sell a commodity at a future date

Tick - A tick is a measure of the minimum upward or downward movement in the price of a security. It may also be referred to as the minimum price fluctuation.

For example, the tick size of an E-Mini S&P 500 Futures Contract is equal to one quarter of an index point. Since an index point is valued at $50 for the E-Mini S&P 500, a movement of one tick would be

.25 x $50 = $12.50

Futures Spread - A futures spread is a combination of two opposite transactions. It basically refers to taking a long position in one futures contract and a short position in another. The opposite positions can differ in expiries or even underlying.

Consecutive Spread - A time spread between 2 consecutive months e.g. The difference between Feb14 & Mar14

Non-Consecutive Spread - A time spread between 2 non-consecutive months e.g. The difference between Feb14 & Apr14

Intermarket Spreads - This spread type involve simultaneously buying and selling two different, but related, futures with the same contract month in order to trade on the relationship between the two products. For example, the Gold-Silver Ratio spread is a tool for trading on the relationship between Gold and Silver futures prices

Open Interest - The number of open positions in a contract at any given time.  If these positions are still open at expiration they will be closed out against the final cash settlement price or will have to receive/deliver the physical underlying product.


Option - An option is a contract between two parties that gives the buyer the right to buy or sell underlying stocks at a predetermined price and within a specified time period.

Stock Option Examples: O:AAPL 25L310.00D19 
Index Option Examples: O:SPX 26X4000.00D18 
Future Option Examples: ES M23C490000 

Call - A Call grants the purchaser the right but not the obligation to buy stock. A call option will increase in value when the underlying stock price rises.

Put - A Put grants the buyer the right to sell a stock short. A put option will increase in value when the underlying stock price drops.

Strike Price - The strike price of an option is the price at which a put or call option can be exercised. A relatively conservative investor might opt for a call option strike price at or below the stock price, while a trader with a high tolerance for risk may prefer a strike price above the stock price.

Greeks - Options Greeks include Delta, Gamma, Theta, Vega, and Rho.

Delta – The amount by which the price of an option changes fore every dollar move in the underlying instrument.

Gamma – The degree by which the delta changes with respect to changes in the underlying instrument’s price.

Theta – The measurement of an option’s time decay.

Vega – The amount by which the price of an option changes as its volatility changes.

Rho - A measure of change in an option’s theoretical value due to a change in interest rates.

Implied Volatility – Calculated by using an option pricing model (Black-Scholes for stocks and indices and Black for futures) and is the amount of price change that can be expected over a given period of time, expressed as a percentage

Intrinsic Value - The amount by which an option is "in the money."

Premium – The cost of an option.

Theoretical Value – An option value generated by a mathematical option pricing model to determine the true value of an option.

Black-Scholes - A mathematical model for the dynamics of a financial market containing derivative investment instruments.

FOREX (Foreign Exchange)

FOREX - FX or Foreign (Currency) Exchange involves the buying of one currency and simultaneous selling of another. The foreign exchange market lacks a central marketplace. Instead, currency trading is conducted electronically over the counter (OTC). This means that all transactions occur via computer networks among traders worldwide rather than on one centralized exchange.

Composite Symbol - The composite symbol is the primary symbol format used for FOREX. It includes all the available banks and contributors for a particular currency or cross rate. 

Examples: Japanese Yen (JPY A0-FX), Euro (EUR A0-FX), British Pound (GBP A0-FX), Canadian Dollar (CAD A0-FX), Australian Dollar (AUD A0-FX), New Zealand Dollar (NZD A0-FX)

Cross Currency - A cross currency (or cross rate) refers to a currency pair or transaction that does not involve the U.S. dollar.


Single or Individual Contributor - Contributors are the banks or sources for FOREX quotes. Certain banks or contributors might only be available for certain currencies.

PIP - The unit of measurement to express the change in value between two currencies.