When a Slow Stop-Out is No Bad Thing

This morning I took it upon myself to establish a long position in a gapped-down stock, with a reasonably tight stop order placed not far below my entry price. The price fell further (of course) but didn’t gap, and my stop order with ETX Capital stopped me out exactly as expected. Well done them.

When I checked on my identical position with SpreadEx I discovered I hadn’t been stopped out, that the current price was below my intended stop-out price, and that the price was still falling. I was about to reach for the phone, to fire a warning shot for them not to try stopping me out at a now-unfavourable price, when I noticed that the price had apparently bottomed-out just below my stop level and was now on the rise again. I did something that we shouldn’t do — I lowered my stop order to just below the new bottomed-out price, so as stay in position — and I was only able to do this because SpreadEx had been so slow in (not) stopping me out in the first place. So, well done them (even if it was unintentional).

Stop Press: I thought I just figured it out! When I tried to close the position manually on the SpreadEx platform, I received a warning that I “must enter a valid closing size”. It seems that sometime this morning, the minimum trade size on this particular market increased from £1-per-point (at which I placed my bet) to a new minimum of £5-per-point. My guess was that even my automatic stop order was therefore not of the correct size to close the trade when it should have done. A call to the trading desk partially-dashed this particular theory, and I was assured that my stop order would have been checked and filled manually at my intended price despite the increase in the minimum bet size.

Disclaimer: this posting is for general education only; it is not trading advice.