Market-on-Open Order

What is a Market-on-Open (MOO) Order?

Understanding Market-on-Open (MOO) Order is essential for investors aiming to execute trades at the start of the trading day. An Market-on-Open (MOO) order is a directive to buy or sell a security at the day’s opening price, providing a way to engage with the market’s first movements. This article explores how these orders work, the strategic applications for investors, and tips for crafting an effective Market-on-Open (MOO) order strategy, ensuring that you can trade the opening dynamics of the stock market with confidence.

Key Takeaways

  • A Market-on-Open (MOO) order is executed at the opening price of a trading session, providing the advantage of participating in early market movements but lacking price control.
  • MOO orders must be matched with opposing orders and placed prior to a specific cutoff time (e.g., 09:28 ET for Nasdaq) to be executed at market open, necessitating pre-market analysis and strategy development for effective use.
  • While MOO orders can capitalize on market dynamics, they also pose risks such as execution at unfavorable prices due to opening price volatility, which can be managed with complementary use of limit and stop orders.

Decoding the Market-on-Open (MOO) Order

Illustration of market open

A MOO order, as the name suggests, is a tool investors use to buy or sell stocks at the opening market price. When transmitted, this order type is held in the system and then submitted as soon as the market opens for the next trading session.

The opening price, which is determined by the first trade of a trading session, takes into account all MOO orders. But here’s a catch – while a MOO order comes with the guarantee of execution, given there’s adequate market liquidity, the exact execution price isn’t guaranteed.

Thus, MOO orders offer a strategic advantage, especially in moving markets when stock prices are highly volatile. However, this also means that the order could be executed at a price significantly different from the previous close. This is where understanding the mechanics of a MOO order becomes crucial.

The Mechanics of a MOO Order

For a MOO order to be executed at the market open, it needs to be submitted before a specific time. For instance, Nasdaq requires Market-on-Open (MOO) Order to be submitted before 09:28 ET. Any orders placed after this time may not be executed at the opening market price. This is because the MOO order is designed to be executed at the very beginning of the stock market session.

However, the execution of a MOO order at market open isn’t solely dependent on the timing of the order. It is also contingent on the presence of opposing orders. In other words, for a buy MOO order to be executed, there need to be sell orders to match it, and vice versa. This interplay of orders is what makes the market ecosystem dynamic and underlines the importance of understanding the market conditions, as we’ll explore in the next section.

Benefits of Using Market-on-Open (MOO) Orders

MOO orders offer a unique advantage. They allow investors to leverage the volatility often seen at market open, which is caused by factors like news releases, earnings reports, and global events that impact stock prices. This volatility creates a window of opportunity to potentially make profitable trades, given the timing and understanding of market dynamics are accurate.

Interestingly, MOO orders can also impact the market’s opening position by creating buy or sell imbalances. When a large number of MOO buy or sell orders are placed, it can influence the opening price, creating a strategic advantage for investors acting on pre-market information. However, to leverage this advantage effectively, it’s crucial to create a well-thought-out MOO order strategy, which brings us to the next section.

Crafting Your Market-on-Open (MOO) Order Strategy

Illustration of pre-market analysis

Developing an effective MOO order strategy isn’t just about identifying when to place an order. It involves understanding market conditions and leveraging them to your benefit. MOO orders can be particularly effective in highly liquid markets with low volatility. But how do you identify such market conditions and craft a strategy around them?

Practicing MOO trading with a paper trading account is a good starting point. It allows you to refine your strategies without the risk of financial loss. But before you dive into trading, it’s essential to understand the elements of a MOO trading strategy, starting with:

  • Pre-market analysis
  • Identifying potential trade opportunities
  • Setting entry and exit points
  • Managing risk
  • Monitoring market conditions

The best approach is to be systematic and backtest your trading rules. We traded MOO orders for almost 18 years, and we did very weel both on NYSE and Nasdaq. However, most of the big imbalances are long gone, so the strategy has detoriated.

Pre-Market Analysis Checklist

Before you place a MOO order, analyzing market conditions and significant events is crucial. Factors such as:

  • the release of earnings
  • company news
  • economic data
  • unexpected events
  • look for imbalances

can drastically impact a stock’s price between market sessions. Understanding these dynamics can help you plan your MOO orders effectively.

Pre-market analysis involves:

  • Evaluating the performance of a stock before the market opens
  • Monitoring overnight news
  • Identifying stocks that show potential for profitable MOO order trades

Understanding the market’s opening trends, influenced by factors like overnight news and pre-market activities, can be valuable before placing MOO orders.

Trading in the pre-market session allows investors to react to overnight news and events, potentially buying or selling stocks at more favorable prices before the regular stock trading session begins.

Setting Your Entry Point

Setting clear entry and exit points is a crucial part of a MOO order strategy. This involves identifying precise price points for entering or exiting positions. Determining the appropriate entry point for a MOO order involves considering the volatility and liquidity of the target stock. Utilizing a platform like Source Streetsmart Edge can assist in making these decisions.

While MOO orders offer the advantage of trading at market open, they don’t offer control over the price at which the order is executed. This is where Limit-on-open (LOO) orders come in. LOO orders allow investors to specify a price limit for their order execution at market open. By setting conditions on the execution price, LOO orders ensure that investors do not pay more than a predetermined price for the stock, mitigating the risk of significant price gaps.

Navigating Risks with MOO Orders

Illustration of price gaps at market open

While MOO orders present potential advantages, they also carry certain risks. One significant risk is the unpredictability of the opening price. This can lead to trades being executed at volatile and potentially unfavorable prices. Furthermore, traders might encounter execution risk with MOO orders, where orders may not fill at the expected price due to gaps or surges in volume at market open.

Another potential downside of MOO orders is the lack of control over the exact price of execution. This could be an issue for traders using leverage, as it may amplify losses. MOO orders can also lead to liquidity concerns due to imbalances between buy and sell orders, which might not be matched at market open.

To mitigate these risks, traders should consider using limit orders with their MOO strategy to establish specific entry points and manage risks associated with market volatility. Limit orders may be preferred over market orders when trading thinly traded, highly volatile securities, or those with wide bid-ask spreads.

Planning for Price Gaps

A price gap at market open refers to a significant difference between the opening price of a stock and its last trade price. A large number of MOO buy orders can cause such price gaps. These gaps can result in MOO orders being filled at prices significantly different from the current price, affecting trader strategies. In this context, a price box and whisker chart can help visualize the distribution of prices and identify potential gaps.

Interestingly, market-making sellers assess the pending MOO orders in the two minutes prior to market opening to adjust their bids and offers. This can potentially impact the opening price and the occurrence of price gaps. Therefore, planning for price gaps is an important aspect of managing risks associated with MOO orders.

Handling Volatility at Market Open

Market volatility at the market’s open is a risk factor that can significantly affect the execution of MOO orders. Traders should, therefore, monitor market liquidity and volatility and have a clear strategy to manage price fluctuations at market opening. Despite the potential sharp price swings, MOO orders ensure investor participation in the initial price movements of the market open.

One way to manage the risk of price volatility is by setting stop loss orders. This strategy triggers an automatic sale of a security if its price falls below a predefined level, thereby managing risk when implementing MOO orders at a volatile market open.

Real-World Examples: MOO Orders in Action

Understanding the theoretical aspects of MOO orders is one thing, but seeing them in action is quite another. MOO orders allow traders to capitalize on market dynamics by executing trades at the opening market price. The Market-on-Open (MOO) Order is designed to be filled at the market’s opening price on the next trading day, which can benefit from overnight news or market changes.

For instance, an investor might place an order after the market close, and the execution occurs at the next day’s opening market price. Let’s delve deeper into some real-world scenarios where MOO orders can be effectively applied.

Example: Responding to Earnings Reports

Earnings reports typically occur outside market hours and can cause significant price movements. Investors may place MOO orders when they anticipate such movements. For instance, a positive quarterly earnings report released before market hours might prompt an investor to use a MOO order to buy shares at the opening price, expecting the stock to rise rapidly.

On the other hand, if an investor expects a stock to decline sharply after an unfavorable earnings report, they might use a MOO order to sell a stock at the opening price, anticipating a further decrease throughout the trading day. These examples illustrate how MOO orders can be used to respond to earnings reports and anticipate significant price movements, as seen in an order example stock price box.

Example: Adjusting to Overnight News

Overnight news can significantly impact stock prices. Traders can leverage MOO orders to respond swiftly to such news, allowing them to execute trades at the opening stock price, which may be influenced by the news.

For instance, if a company is involved in a scandal that breaks overnight, an investor may use MOO orders to sell holdings in the company, anticipating the stock will continue to fall once the market opens. This example demonstrates how MOO orders can be used to adjust to significant overnight news.

Executing an Market-on-Open (MOO) Order: Step-by-Step

Illustration of placing an on open order

Now that we understand what MOO orders are and when they can be used, let’s look at how to execute an Market-on-Open (MOO) Order. A MOO order must be placed when the market is closed and will be processed at least two minutes before the market opens. On Nasdaq, Market-on-Open (MOO) Order can be entered and modified from 7 a.m. to 9:28 a.m. Eastern Time, while on NYSE, orders can be placed up until 9:28 a.m. Eastern Time.

To ensure an order is submitted at the market opening, follow these steps:

  1. Enter the ticker symbol.
  2. Choose the market order type.
  3. Specify the quantity.
  4. Select OPG as the time-in-force.

The Market-on-Open (MOO) Order sell order is held in the system after transmission and will be automatically submitted when the market opens the following trading day, after the previous trading day.

Balancing Your Portfolio with Different Order Types

Illustration of balancing portfolio with different order types

While MOO orders can be a strategic tool for traders, it’s important to understand that they are just one type of order. Investors should understand the distinct advantages and applications of market and limit orders to align them with their trading strategies.

Market orders execute trades swiftly at the current market price, while limit orders allow investors to specify a price threshold for buying or selling. Stop orders can protect investments by triggering a sale when a price falls to a certain level. Understanding the intricacies of market, limit, and stop orders is crucial for investors to make informed decisions that support their financial goals.

When to Choose Limit Over Market Orders

A limit order can provide a safeguard in volatile markets by setting a specified limit price as a maximum acceptable limit and a minimum price, preventing execution at an unexpectedly high price that can occur with MOO orders. Unlike stop orders, which fill at the prevailing market price after activation, limit orders, such as a sell limit order, ensure that the investor does not pay more than their specified price, offering greater control over the purchase price.

In essence, limit orders offer more price control and can be a safer option in volatile markets. This can be particularly useful in situations where the opening price of a stock is unpredictable.

Integrating Stop Orders for Protection

Stop orders are designed to limit an investor’s loss on a position in a security. If the stock’s price falls below the stop price, a stop order to sell triggers at the market’s open as a market order, which could execute at a significantly different price than the stop price.

Knowing that the stop order can be executed at a different price than anticipated, investors need to consider market volatility and potential gaps when pairing with MOO orders for protection. This integration of different order types can provide a robust trading strategy that leverages the benefits of each order type and mitigates their potential drawbacks.


We’ve covered a lot of ground in this blog post, from understanding the mechanics of MOO orders to explaining their potential risks, from crafting a robust MOO order strategy to executing an Market-on-Open (MOO) Order. MOO orders offer unique advantages, allowing investors to capitalize on market-open volatility and respond quickly to overnight news.

However, it’s important to balance your portfolio with different order types and use MOO orders judiciously. With a deep understanding of market conditions, a well-crafted strategy, and effective risk management, you can leverage MOO orders to achieve your financial goals. So, are you ready to make the market’s open your strategic advantage?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Market-on-Open (MOO) order?

A Market-on-Open (MOO) order allows investors to buy or sell stocks at the opening market price.

When should I place a MOO order?

You should place a MOO order when the market is closed, at least two minutes before it reopens. This ensures your order will be processed at the market open.

What are the risks associated with MOO orders?

MOO orders carry risks such as unpredictability of the opening price, execution risk, and potential liquidity concerns due to imbalances between buy and sell orders. Be mindful of these factors before placing an MOO order.

How can I manage risks with MOO orders?

To manage risks with MOO orders, use limit orders for entry points and stop orders to limit losses. This strategy helps in controlling potential downsides.

Can I use MOO orders to respond to significant overnight news?

Yes, MOO orders are designed to allow traders to respond quickly to significant overnight news by executing trades at the opening price.

Similar Posts