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Traders Resources
The 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.

A/D (Advance/Decline)
A technical analysis tool representing the total of differences between advances and declines of security prices. The advance/decline line is considered the best indicator of market movement as a whole, stock indexes such as the DJIA only tell us the strength of 30 stocks where as the A/D line provides much more insight.

Failure to exercise or offset an option before its expiration.

Absolute rate
A quote made which is given as an absolute rate rather than in reference to a funding base such as LIBOR, US treasury rates, etc. For example rather than T-Bill rate + 0.25% the bid is expressed as 5.75%, (If T-Bill = 5.50%).

The bookkeeping record of a customer’s transaction and credit (or debit) balances. This record usually includes confirmation of transactions, listing of holdings and/or open positions, cash and/or cash equivalents, beginning and ending liquidating value.

Account balance
The amount of money or debt in an account.

Account blocking
Occurs when a certain amount of an account is reserved for a specified period. During the blockage, the blocked amount of the account cannot be touched by the account holder. An account can be totally or partially blocked.

Account deactivation
Action of preventing any movement or action in an account.

Account executive
The broker or clerk that is assigned to work with a customer and his/her account on behalf of a financial institution.

Account identification
(1) A series of characters (alpha and/or numeric) used to identify a customer account or relationship. (2) The remitting financial institution's account serviced by the receiving bank. (3) The identification assigned by a financial institution often called the account number.

Account information
Refers to all data that can be recorded in a database about an account, e.g., address, financial information, etc.

Account number
See Account identification.

Account position
The balance and current holdings of an account.

Account reactivation
Action of reinstating an account to its normal condition, after a blocking or deactivation operation.

Account status
The status of an account often affects what and how many transactions can be performed on that account. For example an account that is undermargined (insufficient funds) will not be allowed to add positions to the account.

The physical (cash) commodity or financial instrument rather than a futures or derivative contract for that commodity or financial instrument.

A technical indicator that quantifies the strength of the markets trend. 10-15 flat market, 16-25 trading range, 26-40 trending, 41+ hypertrend.

All-in cost
The total cost of a financial transaction including interest cost, periodic charges and all front-end compensation expressed as a per cent per annum figure.

Alpha refers to that part of a stock's risk and return that is attributable to the stock individually, as apposed to the overall market. Alpha-capture is a spread trade between a stock future and a stock index future. You may see alpha-capture also referred to as "company-specific trading."

American Stock Exchange (AMEX)
A stock exchange, a private, not-for-profit corporation, located in New York City. The third most-active market in the U.S. The exchange was founded in 1842. Also called Amex, and the curb exchange.

American-style option
An option that may be exercised at any time prior to expiration.

A classic trading strategy to profit from different prices for the same security, commodity or financial instrument in different markets. Market forces will normally ensure that these arbitrage differences are short lived. The simultaneous purchase of one commodity against the sale of another in order to profit from distortions from usual price relationships.

Arbitrage Pricing Theory
A theory that if an investor earns a higher-than-normal return, then that is because he/she is accepting a higher-than-normal risk.

Dispute resolution technique in which both parties agree to submit their cases to a private individual or body for resolution. A forum for the fair and impartial settlement of disputes. NFA’s arbitration program provides a forum for resolving futures related disputes.

An indication by a trader or a dealer of a willingness to sell a security, a futures, or other financial instrument. The price at which an investor can buy. Syn. offer. See also bid; quotation.

The price that someone is willing to accept for a security, futures or other financial instrument. The ask portion of a quote is the lowest price anyone is willing to accept at that time.

Asked Price
The price at which sellers offer securities, futures or other financial instrument to buyers. Also called offer price.

Associated Person (AP)
An individual who solicits orders, customers, or customer funds on behalf of a Futures Commission Merchant, an Introducing Broker, a Commodity Trading Advisor, or a Commodity Pool Operator and who is registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) via the National Futures Association (NFA).

At or better
(1) In a buy order for securities, futures or other financial instruments it is purchasing at the specified price or under it (2) For a sell order, it is selling at the specified price or above it. See limit order

At the market
See Market Order.

An option with a strike price equal to the current price of the instrument, such as a stock, upon which the option was granted.

At-the-opening order
An order that specifies it is to be executed at the opening of the market or of trading or else it is to be canceled. The order does not have to be executed at the opening price, but within the opening range of prices.

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.


(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.