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What is a market-on-open order?

In the world of trading, there are various types of trade orders that traders can utilize to execute their strategies effectively. One such order is a market-on-open order (MOO), which is designed to be executed as close to the opening price of a trading day as possible. In this article, we will explore what a market-on-open order entails and how it works.

Defining Market-on-Open Orders

A market-on-open order is an instruction given to a broker or floor trader to buy or sell shares at the opening price of a stock being traded. Traders use this type of order when they want to enter the market immediately after it opens and secure the opening price. It is worth noting that there are similar orders, such as limit-on-open orders, which aim to trade just above or below the market price.

The primary distinction of a market-on-open order is that it is guaranteed to obtain the opening price. The exchange establishes a single price to execute all opening orders, ensuring an orderly market. On the other hand, limit-on-open orders and other variations seek the best possible price but do not have a guarantee beyond the specified limit.

Functioning of Market-on-Open Orders

Market-on-open orders are executed at the first printed price of the trading day. Traders typically place these orders based on their anticipation of a price change throughout the day. By entering a market-on-open order, traders can influence where the market may open as it can create buy or sell imbalances before the trading day is fully underway.

Executing a market-on-open order involves entering a buy order while the market is closed, usually at least two minutes before the market opens. During this brief period, market-making sellers assess the number and nature of orders awaiting execution at the open. This information helps them adjust their bids and offers accordingly. The first trade of the session then establishes the opening price.

Market-on-Open Orders vs. Market-on-Close Orders

While market-on-open orders focus on executing trades at the opening price, market-on-close (MOC) orders are designed to be executed as close to the closing price of a trading day as possible. MOC orders allow traders to participate in the final moments of a trading session and potentially benefit from any price movements during that time.

It is essential to note that the execution of market-on-open orders is guaranteed, provided there is sufficient liquidity in the market. However, there is no guarantee regarding the specific price at which the order will be executed.

Market-on-open orders play a significant role in trading strategies, allowing traders to capture the opening price of a stock when the market begins trading for the day. By placing a market-on-open order, traders can ensure that they participate in the market immediately after it opens, potentially capitalizing on any price changes that occur early in the trading session. However, it is important to remember that the execution price of a market-on-open order is not predetermined, as it depends on the overall market conditions and liquidity at the time of execution.

As with any trading order, it is crucial for traders to carefully consider their investment objectives, risk tolerance, and market conditions before using market-on-open orders or any other type of order. Understanding the intricacies of different order types can help traders navigate the markets effectively and make informed trading decisions.


Traders can enter time-specific trade orders in the form of opening or closing orders, which are only to be executed as close to the opening or closing price as possible.

Market-on-open orders are looking to buy or sell immediately after the market opens, at the opening price. Market-on-open orders are instructions for a broker or floor trader (even though we don’t see those much anymore these days) to buy or sell shares at opening price of the stock being traded.

There are other, similar orders, such as limit-on-open orders, which seek to trade just above/below (depending on whether we’re buying or selling) the market price. The opening (and closing) prices are named by the exchange and are settled at one time and at one price for all opening or closing orders. This maintains an orderly market.

Market-on-open orders are guaranteed to get the opening price, since the exchange will name one price to execute the opening orders in one block. Limit-on-open orders, and other variations, are only intended to get the best price possible, but do not have a guarantee besides the limit.

What is a Market-on-Close order?
What is a Market-With-Protection order?

Disclaimers and Limitations

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