Double Prints....reading The Tape...specialist Participation

Discussion in 'Trading' started by grimer11, Jan 18, 2004.

  1. Would anyone be kind enough to fill me in on what prints on the time and sales would indicate specialist participation in a stock?.....I've read and observed that double prints on the offer often times reveals that the specialist is going long the stock in the amounts of which other market participants are buying the stock......what do double prints on the bid mean? this the specialist going short in the same manner?......also, is where could i go to research when and how a specialists is governed in entering and exiting positions?......any and all help is greatly appreciated.

  2. H2O


    I cannot imagine a MM getting long on a double print of 100 shares......
    I think double prints are simply 2 orders that are matched within the same second and with the same quantity.

    The way I look at T/S is like this :

    1. Look at the trade flow. (If there are only trades on the BID, obviously people are willing to sell at the price someone else is offering = Selling pressure = price down)

    2. Look at the quantity of the trades on the T/S. I would like to know if the institutions (high volume) are participating in the current price trend or are working against it. (For example , if I see a large number of small trades (100-1000 shares) going of at the bid and every now and than I see a BIG trade going of at the ask, you can question yourself who is buying / selling and why...

    Just my 0.2
  3. Thanks H2o.........I trade low volume listed stocks so I guess the gist if the question is this.......I know that if Stock A is quoted
    24.50/24.55 s 100x26 and i see matched prints on the offer of say 800 and 800, followed by prints of 300 and 300 and 200 and 200 until the offer is exhuasted and the stick starts to breakout, I think I can assume its the specialist going long with us to the full extent that he can as he cannot just lift the 2600 shares himself on the uptick.......I've noticed the same phenomena on the bid as well, and was just wondering what rules govern specialist participation.
  4. H2O


    But why would he match the order of another ?

    Why ,if there are 2600 shares offered and there comes a buyer for 800 shares, the MM doesn't take the rest (1800 shares). He doesn't lift the offer that way. He only joins at the same price.
  5. Dustin


    I believe there is an order type that funds/floor guys can enter that tell the specialist to do the double prints. "Buy 10k with double prints" type of thing. That just takes the guess work out of how to get the fill. I could be wrong though.
  6. Mecro


    That is just a bunch of NX orders. See it all the time.

    A specialist would not waste his time with small time orders like that. He can just lift the offer in one shot, just like a day trader or institutional trader can. You cannot really know where he got long or short or he needs to move the price to a certain level for a big buyer/seller in those types of situations. Most of the specialist income comes from heavy volume news days and intermediate term trading.

    The chart tells you where he is buying or selling. Even better, you can sometimes predict the outcome of upcoming news.
  7. Maverick74


    Let me jump in here. Double prints means there are two buyers in the stock. Many times you will see triple prints, three buyers. The reason this happens is because brokers on the floor with leave an order with the specialist. If he sees there is another big buyer in the stock then he will tell the specialist to match whatever the other guy buys, also known as a tag along buyer. He does this because he might be working a large order and have many other orders to fill and he can't hang out at one post all day trying to fill one order.

    Also if both buyers are present in the put and want a lot of stock, the specialist will just split the stock between the two of them. So if 20k shares are on the offer he will give 10k to person A and 10k to person B, therefore the double prints.

    This is very important information because it lets you know that there is not one, but two big buyers in a stock. Hope this helps.
  8. Mecro


    Well thats also how specialists make money. They charge a nice commish or spread on that. Im not sure whether the customers specify the type of prints. I do know that when two institutions make a deal and they want it in the market, the specialist just lets those off when he is in that price range. Sometimes he will trend a dime or two in that directions just to make the print. Thats when you see those perfect 10k blocks let off.
  9. awesome guys, thanks.......I was under the impression that a specialist for listed stocks cannot just gobble up an uptick offer all by himself.....that is, that he is limited to tag along as well.......I've found finding these "double and treble print" opportunities to be profitable and reassuring when already holding a long or short position in said stock....for what it's worth......thanks all.

  10. seems to me that if the spec is active, you would be inclined to see a varying degree of double prints (for size) versus book sweeps. when i say "varying," i mean that when he actively participating and trading in the direction of the market, he might be more inclined to print more doubles than sweeps to give himself/herself a better price. likewise, when he is simply making a market by taking the other side of customer orders, i'd think he'd be more inclined to sweep in order to give himself some price improvement.
    #10     Jan 18, 2004