At the Open Order

An at the open order is an advanced order type available to both traders and investors alike.

Much as we wrote about in a previous article on an At the Close Order, this order type can be placed prior to the daily regular trading session begins, or even the night before.


When placing an At the Open Order, you'll be able to enter it as either a "Market" order or a "Limit" order, each with it's own pro's and con's.

At the Open Order

Examples of an "At-the-Open" Order

As a first example, if entering a "Market, At-the-Open" order to buy 1000 shares of a stock with a symbol of MMSM (fictious symbol for fictious company "Make Me Some Money"), the order would be placed in line with other similar At-the-Open Market orders and executed and the first, "best price" available. This doesn't mean your order is first in line though. If there are other market orders to buy a cumulative total of 100,000 shares, you could theoretically get filled at a price you weren't expecting to have been.

For another example, if entering a "Limit, At-the-Open" order to buy 1000 shares of MMSM with a limit of $10.90, your order would be filled as long as shares were available to purchase at $10.90 or below, at-the-open. If MMSM opens at $10.95 and begins to move higher, your order would not be filled and it would get cancelled.

Pro's (Benefits) of Using An "At the Open" Order Type

  • You can use this type of order to enter or exit positions while working a 9-5 career job away from your trading program.
  • Can be used as part of a trading system designed to enter or exit positions the day after a stock meets pre-determined criteria.
  • By using a system combined with an At-the-Open order you can help remove some of the emotions involved with watching live stock price movements and the effects of those movements on your decision-making process.
  • Some people use this type of order as part of their stop loss strategy. IE: if a stock triggers a stop loss criteria, exit the following morning at-the-open (no, if's, and's or but's about it).

Con's (Pitfalls) of Using An At-the-Open Order Type

  • You could miss out on opportunities if a stock price opens higher than a limit price you set.
  • During extremely volatile trading, a market, at-the-open order may get filled at a price much higher than expected.
  • If a stock closed one day at $20.00 and you enter a market order to buy shares of that stock the following day at-the-open and are not around to see what's going on in the news, a negative announcement can come out and the stock could open down 30% or more, and you would now own shares of a stock that you might not have wanted to own if you knew about this new, negative news, no matter what the price.
  • If a stock closes at $20.00 as in the previous point, and you enter a "limit, at-the-open" order with a limit price of $20.20, you could get filled if shares were available only to find that negative news was announced shortly AFTER the open, causing shares to dive and you not be around. (Note: You could make this more of an advanced order type to try and help prevent things like this by making this a "conditional, at-the-open-limit order". More on this in another article).

Return From "At the Open Order" To "Stock Trading Risk Management"

Elliott Wave Videos

Learn to trade in the direction of the forecasted trend with this free video course. Click here to start watching: Free Elliott Wave Video Lessons

Free Newsletter Updates

Trading Resources

Stock Trading Software
Stock Trading Software
Stock Trend AnalysisStock Trend Analysis