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Advanced trading types: Conditional orders

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A conditional order allows you to set order triggers for stocks and options based on the price movement of stocks, indexes, or options contracts. There are five types: Contingent, Multi-Contingent, One-Triggers-the-Other (OTO), One-Cancels-the-Other (OCO), and One-Triggers-a-One-Cancels-the-Other (OTOCO).

 Contingent orders

A Contingent order triggers an equity or options order based on any one of 8 trigger values for any stock, up to 40 selected indices, or any valid options contract.

  • Trigger values: last trade, bid, ask, volume, change % up, change % down, 52-week high, and 52-week low
  • Market, limit, stop loss, and trailing stop loss are available order types once the contingent criterion is met. 
  • Security type: Stock or single-leg options
  • Time-in-force: For the contingent criteria and for the triggered order, it can be for the day, or good 'til canceled (GTC). The time-in-force for the contingent criteria does not need to be the same as the time-in-force for the triggered order.

 Multi-contingent orders

A Multi-Contingent order triggers an equity or option order based on a combination of 2 trigger values for any stock or up to 40 selected indices. The criteria can be linked by "And at the same time," "Or," or "Then."

"And at the same time" is chosen if both criteria must be met at the same time.

"Or" is chosen if either one of the two criteria must be met.

"Then" is chosen if the criteria must be met in sequential order.

  • Trigger values: last trade, bid, ask, volume, change % up, change % down, 52-week high, and 52-week low
  • Security type: Stock or single-leg options
  • Time-in-force: For the contingent criteria and for the triggered order, it can be for the day, or good 'til canceled (GTC). The time-in-force for the contingent criteria does not need to be the same as the time-in-force for the triggered order.

 One-Triggers-the-Other (OTO)

A One-Triggers-the-Other order actually creates both a primary and a secondary order. If the primary order executes, the secondary order automatically triggers. This type of order can help you save time: place a buy order as your primary order and a corresponding sell limit, sell stop, or sell trailing stop at the same time. Or, if you trade options regularly, use an OTO order to leg into a buy-write or covered call position. Trailing stop orders are available for either or both legs of the OTO.

  • Security type: Any combination of stock and/or single-leg options
  • Time-in-force: Can be different for each order
  • For OTO orders that are good ’til canceled (GTC), the whole order is good for 180 days (e.g., if the primary order executes on day 30, the secondary order is live for 150 days).
  • If the primary order is canceled, the secondary order is also canceled.
  • If the secondary order is canceled, the primary order remains open as a separate order.

 One-Cancels-the-Other (OCO)

With a One-Cancels-the-Other order (OCO), two orders are live so that if either executes, the other is automatically triggered to cancel.

When orders are placed for retirement accounts, a price-reasonability check helps prevent both OCO orders from executing in a fast market. This feature does not exist in non-retirement accounts.

  • Security type: Any combination of stocks or single-leg options
  • Time-in-force: Must be the same for both orders
  • Orders can be for the same shares of the same stock or option contracts, but on opposite sides of the market (sell limit and sell stop).

 One-Triggers-a-One-Cancels-the-Other (OTOCO)

In a One-Triggers-a-One-Cancels -the-Other order, you place a primary order which, if executed, triggers two secondary orders.

If either of these secondary orders executes, the other is automatically canceled.

  • Security type: Any combination of stocks or single-leg options
  • Time-in-force: Primary can be different than both secondary orders. However, both secondary orders must have the same time-in-force.
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Charts, screenshots, company stock symbols and examples contained in this module are for illustrative purposes only.
1. Active Trader Services are available to investors in households that place 120 or more stock, bond, or options trades in a rolling twelve-month period and maintain $25K in assets across their eligible Fidelity brokerage accounts.
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