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