What is a Flash Price?

by Investing School on December 11, 2010

The term “flash price” is a term used in the securities markets. The flash price is used when there is a period of especially heavy exchanges in the markets. When this situation occurs, sometimes the ticker tape display has so much information to impart to the market floor that the tape actually finds itself running in excess of five minutes behind real time.

Of course, this can cause problems on the market, because investors and traders need to make their decisions to buy and sell based on the most up to date information available! As a solution, the market may allow for a “flash price,” which is simply a quick interruption of the display of the delayed prices to show more updated price information. The presentation of a flash price is designed as a measure to allow the market investors and traders the opportunity to view the most accurate and current price of an especially heavily traded stock.

When the stock market becomes extremely busy, and as a result the ticker tape display is falling further and further behind, the display of flash prices can be implemented. These flash prices are most usually given out every five to ten minutes. This helps to keep the markets moving even when they get so busy that it becomes difficult to keep the information flowing at a pace that can keep up with the total number of transactions on the market.

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