Scalper: A trader who trades for small, short-term profits during the course of a trading session, rarely carrying a position overnight.
Segregated Account: A special account used to hold and separate customers' assets from those of the broker or firm.
Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO): Self-regulatory organizations (i.e. the futures exchanges and National Futures Association) enforce minimum financial and sales practice requirements for their members.
Settlement Price: The last price paid for a contract on any trading day. Settlement prices are used to determine open trade equity, margin calls and invoice prices for deliveries.
Short: An obligation to purchase an asset at some time in the future.  An asset is sold short given the expectation of a decline in its price.
Speculator: A market participant who tries to profit from buying and selling futures and options contracts by anticipating future price movements. Speculators assume market price risk and add liquidity and capital to the futures markets.
Slim Jim: A narrow-range, intraday consolidation pattern that forms at or near the high or low of the day. Generally, the longer and tighter the consolidation, the more explosive the eventual breakout.
Spike: A price bar that extends much higher or lower than the surrounding price bars.
Spot: Usually refers to a cash market price for a physical commodity that is available for immediate delivery.
Spot Month: See Nearby Delivery Month.
Spread Order: This is a type of order for the simultaneous purchase and sale of two options of the same type (calls or puts) on the same underlying.  If placed with a “limit”, the two positions must be traded for a specific price difference or better.

An oscillator based on the position of the current close relative to the absolute price range over the last N days.


Stochastics consists of two lines: %K, which is the basic calculation, and %D, which is a moving average (typically three days) of the %K line. Usually, "stochastics" refers to an additionally smoothed version of the formula, whereby the original %D becomes the new %K line and a moving average of this line becomes the new %D line (this version is sometimes called "slow" stochastics, while the original calculation is called "fast" stochastics).

Stop Order:

A trade order placed above or below the market's current price level that is intended either to liquidate a losing trade (a "stop-loss" order) or to establish a new market position.


Stop orders become market orders as soon as their prices are touched. A stop-limit order specifies the worst price at which a stop can be filled, e.g., "sell 100 shares of DAL at 45 on a stop, 43 limit."

Straddle: A straddle is a long or short position in both call and put options.  The options share the same exercise price, expiration month and the same underlying asset.  A short straddle means that both call and put options are sold short.  A long straddle means that both call and put options are bought long.
Strategy: An option strategy is one of various kinds of option investments, i.e. long call, covered write, bull spread, etc.
Strike Price: This is the fixed price per unit, specified in the option contract.

A price level that acts as a floor to further price declines. When a market repeatedly declines to a particular level and then rallies, the market is said to be "offering support" at that level.


Support (like resistance) is rarely a precise price; it is more often a relatively contained price range, frequently in the vicinity of past technical patterns.


One of the basic precepts of support and resistance is that once a support level is violated it becomes a likely new resistance level and when a resistance level is penetrated it becomes a new support level.

Swap: In general, the exchange of one asset or liability for a similar asset or liability for the purpose of lengthening or shortening maturities, or raising or lowering coupon rates, to maximize revenue or minimize financing costs.


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