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Trading Stocks

A stock, or an equity, is a security that represents a share of ownership and voting rights in a company. On Fidelity.com, you can trade most basic equities on domestic exchanges, such as the American Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange, as well as Nasdaq-listed, over-the-counter stocks.

Placing Trades Online

Fees and Commissions

Settling Orders

Trading Hours

Extended Hours Trading

Restrictions and Requirements

Related Help Topics

PLACING TRADES ONLINE

How do I see my positions without leaving the Trade Stocks page?

To see your positions without leaving the Trade Stocks page, select the Positions tab in the top right corner of the Trade Stocks page. The Positions tab on the Trade Stocks page displays each position's Symbol, Quantity (QTY), Price, Value, and Type.

During market hours, the figures displayed are displayed in real-time. The date-time stamp displays the date and time on which these figures were last updated. To refresh these figures, click Refresh.

How do I see my balances without leaving the Trade Stocks page?

To see your balances without leaving the Trade Stocks page, select the Balances tab in the top right corner of the Trade Stocks page. The Balances tab on the Trade Stocks page displays the same fields displayed on the Balances page. During market hours, balances are displayed in real-time.

A list of commonly-viewed Balance fields also appears at the top of the page under the account dropdown box. The Balance fields displayed (when applicable) are Account Net Worth, Cash Avail to Purchase, Unsettled Cash – Credit/Debit (if you have deposits or withdrawals pending), Margin Buying Power (if you have a margin account), and Day Trade Buying Power (if you have a Day Trade Account).

For accounts with margin trading capability, the Balances tab displays the same fields displayed on the Balances page.To see more balances, click Show All Details. The date-time stamp displays the date and time on which these figures were last updated. To refresh these figures, click Refresh.

How do I see my orders without leaving the Trade Stocks page?

To see your orders without leaving the Trade Stocks pages, select the Orders tab in the top right corner of the Trade Stocks page. The Orders tab on the Trade Stocks page displays information for open, pending, filled, partial, and canceled orders. You may attempt to cancel or attempt to cancel and replace an order from the Orders tab on the Trade Stocks page.

The date-time stamp displays the date and time on which this information was last updated. To refresh order information, click Refresh.

How do I sell all the shares I own of a particular security?

To sell all the shares you own of a particular security, on the Trade Stocks screen, in the Action pulldown menu, select Sell All Shares. Your order to Sell All Shares reflects only your current holdings for the security you selected—open or unexecuted buy orders for this security are not included. The following rules apply:

Will I have the opportunity to change or cancel a trade before executing it?

Your order will not be sent to Fidelity if you leave the Verification page before you click Place Order, or if you click Edit Order. To cancel the order and return to the order entry page, click the Cancel link.

How can I attempt to cancel a pending trade?

You can attempt to cancel a pending trade that has not yet executed from the Orders page. See Orders for more information.

When is my order submitted to Fidelity?

When you click Place Order on the Verification page, you are agreeing that the order information is correct, and you are authorizing Fidelity to execute the order on your behalf.

What trade verification and confirmation do I receive online?

When you submit an order online, you always see a Verification page. Review the Verification page carefully before placing your order. Once you place your order, you see a Confirmation page displaying your order confirmation number and trade details. You can print this confirmation for your records. Once the order has been executed, Fidelity mails you a paper confirmation.

Will I receive a trade confirmation via mail?

Yes. A trade confirmation is mailed on the business day following the execution of any buy or sell order. If you do not have sufficient funds in your core account, you should not wait for the confirmation to reach you before mailing your payment or securities. Once you receive your confirmation, examine it carefully and advise Fidelity of any discrepancy immediately.

How do I learn about trading on margin and selling short?

See Margin and Selling Short.

How do I learn about trading specific shares?

See Trading Specific Shares.

How do I learn about trading options?

See Trading Options, or Trading Multi-leg Options.

FEES AND COMMISSIONS

How are fees and commissions for online orders assessed?

How fees and commissions are assessed depends upon a variety of factors. Visit Investment Products > Brokerage and click "More about online commission rates" to view Fidelity's Brokerage Commission and Fee Schedules.

Are there fees in addition to the commission that Fidelity charges?

Yes. There is a regulatory fee, commonly referred to in the industry as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fee, of $17.40 per $1,000,000 of aggregate sale proceeds. This fee is in addition to your commission, and will be shown separately on your confirmation.

SETTLING ORDERS

How quickly does a trade settle?

Trades that qualify for Fidelity's 1-Second NBBO Execution Guarantee are settled in one second. To qualify, brokerage orders must meet the following criteria:

The following exclusions apply to Fidelity's 1-Second NBBO Execution Guarantee: Fidelity reserves the right to restrict or revoke this offer at any time.

What is the settlement date?

The settlement date is the day on which payment for securities bought or certificates for securities sold must be in your account. Settlement dates vary from investment to investment. For details, see the table of settlement dates in the Brokerage Handbook.

How does Fidelity settle a trade?

Trades placed in a non-retirement account will be settled automatically from the balance in your core account if no other funds are received. If you deplete the balance in your core account, you may deposit additional funds into your core account or pay for your trade through any available equity in your margin account. Your margin account will be used automatically if you have one and if there are sufficient marginable securities to pay for your purchase. Fidelity reserves the right to require 100% of the purchase price in your account to cover special purchases or first-time trades (e.g., stocks under $5, one-day-settlement products).

Can I specify how I wish to pay for a trade?

Yes. You may pay for trades in a non-retirement account either from a balance currently held in your core account or by depositing additional money via electronic funds transfer, a check, or a wire transfer to Fidelity. For detailed instructions and online forms, see Put Money/Assets into Your Accounts. This page lists and describes all the ways you can put money/assets into your brokerage account, including transfers between your Fidelity and bank accounts.

When will Fidelity credit the proceeds of a sale to my core account?

On the settlement date, unless you instruct us otherwise. Proceeds will automatically be used to pay down any margin debt, if you have any, and the balance will remain in your core account.

When can I write checks against the proceeds of a sale?

Brokerage customers with checkwriting may write checks against the proceeds of a sale on or after the settlement date.

TRADING HOURS

When can I place a stock trade?

Are there any special conditions on trading stocks when the markets are closed?

Orders placed when the markets are closed are subject to market conditions existing when the markets next open. Any equity requirement necessary for trade approval will be based on the most recent closing price of the security that you intend to buy or sell. Because of fluctuating conditions, the ultimate execution price may differ at times from the most recent closing price.

When placing orders when markets are closed, carefully consider any limitation you may wish to place on the transaction. Fidelity reserves the right to refuse to accept any opening transaction for any reason, at its sole discretion.

EXTENDED HOURS TRADING

Why does Fidelity offer extended hours trading?

Extended hours trading gives you greater flexibility in managing your trading activity, and allows you to react to market news outside of standard trading hours.

How does extended hours trading differ from trading during the standard market day ?

Extended hours trading is conducted through an electronic communications network (ECN) which may pose certain risks greater than those present during standard market hours. These risks include lack of liquidity, greater price volatility and price spreads, limited access to other markets and market information, price variance from standard market hours, the time and price prioritization of orders, and communication delays. These risks may prevent your order from being executed, in whole or in part, or from receiving as favorable a price as you might receive during standard market hours.

Am I authorized to place extended hours trades?

In order to place an order during an extended hours session you must have a Fidelity Brokerage® account and agree to the ECN User Agreement. Also, before placing your first trade in an extended hours session, you must speak to a representative to discuss the risks associated with this market. Some risks include, but are not limited to, a lack of liquidity, greater price volatility and wider price spreads.

What is an Electronic Communications Network (ECN)?

An ECN is an electronic order matching system in which investors and other market participants may participate. You can place orders through the ECN during the extended hours trading sessions. The ECN, as used in Fidelity's extended hours trading sessions, web site content, and other materials, refers to one or more electronic communications networks (ECNs) to which an order may be submitted for display and execution from Fidelity. ECNs electronically match buyers and sellers to execute Limit orders. Fidelity utilizes NYSE Archipelago as its primary ECN for extended hours trading. Extended hours session orders may also be executed by a dealer at a price that is at or better than the NYSE Archipelago best bid or offer. Depending on the availability of Archipelago, your order may be submitted to one or more of the ECNs with which Fidelity is directly or indirectly linked.

What stocks can I trade during extended hours?

During the extended hours sessions, you can trade all Nasdaq (National Market and SmallCap) and Listed securities.

Can I trade on margin during extended hours?

Yes. As with regular session trades, you must have a Margin Agreement on file with Fidelity to trade on margin or to place a sell short order. If you do not have a Margin Agreement, you must use cash. To establish a Margin Agreement on an account, select Update Accounts/Features under the Accounts & Trade tab, and click Margin and Options under Account Features.

What types of stock orders can I place during extended hours?

You can place buy, buy to cover, sell or short sale orders during extended hours sessions. Your orders must be limit orders. Time-in-force limitations must be either day, or immediate or cancel. Day orders are good until the premarket or after hours session ends. You can't place any conditions (such as All or None or Do Not Reduce) on an extended hours trade. You will only see the Buy to Cover and Sell Short actions if you are eligible to place these types of orders. Short sales are available ONLY from 8:00 AM – 9:28 AM ET during the pre market session but are eligible from 4:00 PM ET – 8:00 PM ET during the after hours session.

Are stock quotes available during extended hours?

A premarket or after hours quote obtained from Fidelity.com is the best real-time quote for a stock eligible for trading during extended hours. Extended hours quotes reflect the best prices (top of book) available in the Arca order book.

An extended hours quote includes the Last Trade and Tick in the extended hours session from the previous standard session closing price. Since this change can be substantial, we recommend that you review this information as well as the Bid and Ask price along with Size before determining your limit price.

What are order book quotes?

Order book quotes are expanded quote information available only during extended hours trading sessions. They include the current ten best Bid and ten best ask ECN extended hours orders for a specified security, available for matching from one or more ECNs. For use in Fidelity's extended hours trading session, order book quotes only reflect bid and ask orders from Arca. In addition to the best current bid and ask, order book quotes also supply the following information:

Is there a limit to the number of shares per extended hours order?

There is no minimum order size, and the maximum order is 25,000 shares on either side (bid to buy/offers to sell). The minimum quantity for immediate or cancel orders is 100 shares.

When are premarket orders executed?

Orders in the premarket session can only be entered and executed between 7:00 AM and 9:28 AM ET. Short sale orders are available ONLY from 8:00 AM ET – 9:28 AM ET.

When are after hours orders executed?

Orders in the after hours session can be entered and executed between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM ET..

How are extended hours orders executed?

Orders entered into the premarket and after hours sessions are generally handled in the order in which they were received at each price level. Therefore, orders transmitted to the ECN by other investors before your order may match an existing order that you were attempting to match, thereby removing that order from the ECN order book. Similarly, your order may not be first in line to be executed if a matching order comes into the ECN. This may prevent your order from being executed, in whole or in part, or from receiving as favorable a price as you might receive during standard market hours. If you change your order, your change is treated as cancellation and replacement which may cause it to lose its time priority.

What happens to unexecuted orders?

Orders not filled during Fidelity's premarket session are automatically canceled if they are not filled by the end of the session (i.e., 9:28 a.m. Eastern Time unless trading is halted prior to 9:28 a.m.) during which they were placed. You must re-enter these orders during standard market hours if you still wish to have Fidelity execute the trades.

Orders not filled during Fidelity's after hours session are automatically canceled if they are not filled by the end of the session (i.e., 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time unless trading is halted prior to 8:00 p.m.) during which they were placed. You must re-enter these orders during the premarket or standard market hours if you still wish to have Fidelity execute the trades.

Can I change or cancel an extended hours order?

You may attempt to change or cancel your order any time before it is executed. If all or a portion of your order is executed before your change or cancellation is received, the portion of your order which was executed cannot be changed or cancelled.

What happens if I change an extended hours order?

If you change your order, your change is treated as a cancellation and replacement, which may cause it to lose its place in the order book and therefore may result in a missed execution.

What happens if an ECN becomes unavailable during an extended hours session?

Fidelity may submit orders to another eligible and available ECN or dealer to maintain order flow. If another ECN or dealer is unavailable, Fidelity reserves the right to cancel any existing order on the order book along with any new orders entered for that extended hours session.

Will stocks stop trading on news or other events?

If a stock that normally trades on the ECN closes on a trading halt in its primary market, or trading is later halted by its primary exchange or a regulatory authority, trading of that stock will also be suspended on the ECN. The rules of Nasdaq and the stock exchange governing stock halts apply to the extended hours trading sessions, just as they do to other sessions.

What are the commissions for extended hours trades?

Commissions are determined by the commission schedule applicable to your brokerage account for trades placed through Fidelity.com. See the Brokerage Commission and Fee Schedules for complete details.

How are extended hours trades settled?

For settlement and clearing purposes, trades executed during extended hours sessions are processed as if they had been executed during standard market hours. For example, the trade date would be May 13, 2013, for any trade executed during an extended hours session on May 13, 2013. The standard three-day settlement process applies to all extended hours trades.

RESTRICTIONS AND REQUIREMENTS

What are the restrictions on online orders?

To protect customers' accounts, Fidelity has put the following restrictions on orders placed online:

What types of transactions can I place?

Margin orders, Sell Short, and Buy to Cover require a margin agreement.

What order types can I place on a stock order?

The following order types are available for stock trading:

For a Stop Limit order, you must specify both the Stop Price and Limit Price, which can be the same or different amounts.

For more information, see Order Types and Conditions.

What time limitations can I place on an order?

You place a time limitation on a stock trade order by selecting one of the following time-in-force types:

For more information, see Order Types and Conditions.

What conditions can I place on the execution of an order?

You place conditions on a stock trade order by selecting one of the following:

For more information, see Order Types and Conditions.

What are the cash/margin requirements for placing an online trade?

For non-retirement brokerage accounts, at least 25% of the order value must be in the account already and in cash. However, to purchase securities priced under $5 per share you must have 100% of the order value in cash before placing the order.

The current initial margin requirement is 50% of the purchase price for most securities. You generally have up to five business days to meet this requirement after purchasing securities on margin. This requirement is known as Reg. T or the Fed requirement and is set by the Federal Reserve Board. After the purchase is complete, there are additional ongoing margin requirements known as maintenance requirements which require customers to maintain a certain level of equity in their margin accounts. The house maintenance requirement is currently 30%; however, based on the liquidity and volatility of a security, this figure can be as high as 100%.

Related Help Topics