Specialist prints

Discussion in 'Order Execution' started by speculatus, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. I often see specialist prints right before the price is about to change it's direction. The only problem is that those prints are often on the wrong side from my prospective... Of course specialists make mistakes more often these days when the flow is fragmented and 90% or so of all trades are done by Hybrid, but not so often unless I see it just plain wrong.


    20.01 x 20.05 1 x 1
    50s20.04 <- specialist print with price improvement
    20.01 x 20.05 1 x 1
    20.03 x 20.07 3 x 1
    and the price is going up from now on.


    20.01 x 20.05 1 x 1
    50s20.05 <- specialist supplements the size on offer
    20.01 x 20.05 1 x 1
    20.03 x 20.07 3 x 1

    Question: in the examples above the specialist has to be contra-party of the trade, so he's selling from the inventory right before the stock surges upward.

    What am I missing?
  2. Tape Reading is truly a lost art...
  3. Hardly... I tape read every day, and know lots of people who make $$$ purely from prints and books, with minimal chart input...

    Your examples aren't clear. The specialist doesn't manually price improve trades except when the stock reaches an LRP - read about Liquidiy Replenishment Points so you can see when the specialisy is directly involved. Otherwise, it's all automatic execution. Your quote software most likely doesn't keep up with the prints - none I know does - so it may be that the 20.04 print is just from a bid and an offer which came in at the same price simultaneously, or a bot that automatically took that liquidity once the order came so quickly that you couldn't see which side it was on.
  4. tradethetrade

    tradethetrade Vendor

    Ouch, you hurt my feelins now. Tape reading is an evolving art and I still find it very profitable.

    These prints could just be someone matching an order on the floor. I see these prints all the time and it most cases I don't care about them. Sometimes people think these big prints could be an end of move type of print and so participants could get involved and drive prices up or down.

    If they are printing huge size on the offer and it does not lift, it could just be a hidden order. Most times my stocks aren't trading at lrp levels and when they are I try my best to stay away.

  5. Div_Arb


    How can you tell the Specialist is the one making the trade?
  6. Well, I see every trade and every quote from NYSE, and my non-filtered, non-compressed feed is one of the best available (from ACTIV Financial). I do agree that unless you are in the slow market or a trade is marked as delayed, almost all trades are done through the HYBRID. But I see a lot of big trades and don't see corresponding quotes, I see a lot of price improvements, and supplement size trades (when the specialist can supply the size to provide single price execution). It's only can be done by the specialist or the specialist's algo.
  7. I was trying to bump this thread :)

    I see the presence of hidden orders. The specialist/floor broker have to show at least 1K on the bid/offer in order to put a reserve size, and you see trades (any size, even 1 lot) at the price with the size keep refreshing at 1K.
  8. Let's dwell on piddleshit, shall we?

    Retail is a mere sliver.

    IF anything, clusters of blocks would represent potential change in direction. A block, like any fill, has TWO sides. Most likely one side being the specialist. A cluster means something.

    Like any endeavor, there are good players, mediocre ones, and bad ones. The latter feed the machine and eventually replaced by another layer.

    The former, if they want in (or out) would confer with the specialist toward depth. Irrespective of concessions, the specialist (or possibly another agent hence becoming the ax) would work that block in (or out) into the intra-day noise you're dwelling on.

    Obviously the merchandising and TIME involved varies greatly with liquidity. IE PG vs small company XYZ. Yes, it can take weeks ( or in the blink of the eye with a gap). In essence, what the market will bear.

    Oh, and transactions BETWEEN member firms do not have to appear on tape (unless they choose so). Which is another form of merchandising paper.
  9. Not true. Price moves into size. One side has to be more aggressive in order to move the price. And the specialist doesn't have to be on the other side.

    Well, one shall remember that around 80% of all trades done by alogs these days. But when there is flow on the floor, the specialist want to get involved on cleanup prints, and that what we want to catch.

    How's that? The only exception I'm aware of is odd-lot trades that not printed on the tape...
  10. #10     Sep 20, 2007