Check Out Nine Different Hand Signals Traders Use For Buy And Sell Orders

Open Outcry

Photo: Alex Howe for Business Insider

For the most part face-to-face trading is dead because it has been replaced with electronic systems.However, the open-outcry system, which is a form of communication where traders use hand signals to exchange information mostly about buy and sell orders, still exists at exchanges such as the CME, CBOE and CBOT. 

It makes sense. 

For example, “The Pit,” which is a raised platform in the CME where this open-outcry trading takes place — can get really loud.

When you’re trading in the pit, you use the hand signals to communicate to people outside to fill orders.  Those orders are then handed off to a runner who drops the buy or sell order off at a post outside of the pit.

Some of the signals are pretty much standard, while some are proprietary. 

We’ve put together these nine different hand signals traders use [via northmanfamily]. 

This means buy. When you want to buy something, your palms face toward you.

This is sell. When you indicate you want to sell, your palms face away from you.

To show the quantity of orders you want you touch your face. Placing your index finger to your chin means you want an order in multiples of 1-9.

If you want quantities in multiples of 10, then you touch your forehead.

If you want to indicate that you want orders in multiples of 100, place your fist on your forehead.

This means stop the order. Place your fist against your palm to indicate that you want to stop an order.

This means cancel. placing your hand flat across your throat means the order has been canceled.

This one stands for a call option.

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