Open outcry

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Open outcry, also called pit trading, is the system of trading that formed the basis for exchange-based transactions, with participants physically located in a pit or other arena. Traders crowded into these pits or rings (often with several tiers) and used a system that mixed verbal bids and offers with hand signals.[1] A contract was made if a trader yelled out his desire to sell at a certain price and another trader yelled out that he will buy at that price.[2]

The system has been largely replaced by electronic trading, which reduces fixed costs and improves speed of execution, but is still employed for some specialized transactions at key venues including the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange and the New York Mercantile Exchange.[3].



  1. Hand Signals. Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
  2. Open Outcry. Investopedia.
  3. Open Outcry. Public Broadcasting System.