Hand signaling (stock market)
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Hand signaling, also known as arb or arbing (short for
arbitrage In economics and finance, arbitrage (, ) is the practice of taking advantage of a difference in prices in two or more Market (economics), markets; striking a combination of matching deals to capitalise on the difference, the profit being the di ...
), is a system of hand signals used on financial trading floors to communicate buy and sell information in an
open outcry Open outcry is a method of communication between professionals on a stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an Exchange (organized market), exchange where stockbrokers and stock trader, traders can buy and se ...
trading environment. The system is used at financial exchanges such as the
Chicago Mercantile Exchange The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) (often called "the Chicago Merc", or "the Merc") is a global derivatives marketplace based in Chicago and located at 20 S. Wacker Drive. The CME was founded in 1898 as the Chicago Butter and Egg Board, an a ...
(CME) and the
American Stock Exchange NYSE American, formerly known as the American Stock Exchange (AMEX), and more recently as NYSE MKT, is an American stock exchange situated in New York City. AMEX was previously a mutual organization, owned by its members. Until 1953, it was known ...
(AMEX). The AMEX is the only U.S. stock market to permit the transmission of buy and sell orders through hand signals.Larry Harris, ''Trading and Exchanges'', Oxford University Press US: 2003, page 104, , Traders usually flash the signals quickly across a room to make a sale or a purchase. Signals that occur with palms facing out and hands away from the body are an indication the gesturer wishes to sell. When traders face their palms in and hold their hands up, they are gesturing to buy. Numbers one through five are gestured on one hand with the fingers pointing directly upwards. To indicate six through ten, the hand is held sideways, parallel to the ground. Counting starts from six when the hand is held in this way. Numbers gestured from the forehead are blocks of ten, blocks of hundreds and thousands can be indicated by repeatedly touching the forehead with a closed fist. The signals can otherwise be used to indicate months, specific trade option combinations or additional market information. trading floor hand signals  Rules vary significantly among exchanges; however, the purpose of the gestures remains the same.


See also

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Chinese number gestures Chinese number gestures are a method to signify the natural numbers one through ten using one hand. This method may have been developed to bridge the many varieties of Chinese—for example, the numbers 4 () and 10 () are hard to distinguish ...
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Finger binary Finger binary is a system for counting Counting is the process of determining the number of Element (mathematics), elements of a finite set of objects, i.e., determining the size (mathematics), size of a set. The traditional way of counting con ...
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Nonverbal communication Nonverbal communication (NVC) is the transmission of messages or signals through a nonverbal platform such as eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, Posture (psychology), posture, and body language. It includes the use of social cues, kinesi ...
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Sign language Sign languages (also known as signed languages) are languages that use the visual-manual modality to convey meaning, instead of spoken words. Sign languages are expressed through manual articulation in combination with non-manual markers. Sign l ...


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Trading Pit History
{{Stockexchange-stub Sign systems