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Finance Dictionary and Glossary of Investment Terms
On an exchange, the member firm that is designated as the market maker (or dealer for a listed common stock). Member of a stock exchange who maintains a "fair and orderly market" in one or more securities. Only one specialist can be designated for a given stock, but dealers may be specialists for several stocks. In contrast, there can be multiple market makers in the OTC market. Major functions include executing limit orders on behalf of other exchange members for a portion of the floor broker's commission, and buying or selling for the specialist's own account to counteract temporary imbalances in supply and demand and thus prevent wide swings in stock prices.
A stock exchange member who makes a market for certain exchange-traded securities, maintaining an inventory of those securities and standing ready to buy and sell shares as necessary to maintain an orderly market for those shares. Can be an individual, partnership, corporation or group of firms.
A member of a stock exchange through which all trades in a given security pass.
A person on the trading floor of certain exchanges who holds an inventory of particular stocks. The specialist is responsible for managing limit trades, but does not make information on outstanding limit orders available to other traders.