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What are circuit breakers & trading halts?

When markets become volatile, a market-wide circuit breaker halts trading across all US exchanges and venues.   

These halts are triggered at three circuit breaker thresholds that measure a decrease or increase against the prior day’s closing price of the S&P 500.

A trading halt is a temporary suspension in trading that occurs across all of the exchanges. During this time, there is no trading in the stock and all orders will be queued to be executed only once the halt is lifted. 

Market-wide circuit breakers are in place to halt all trading on an exchange for all stocks (or for a specific security) in the case of extreme price movements.

The circuit breaker is defined by a pre-defined % price movement that triggers automatic “brakes” when the market is extremely volatile.

The 3 circuit Breaker levels:

  • Level 1 +- 7%
  • Level 2 +- 13%
  • Level 3 +- 20%

Times of circuit breakers

  • A Level 1 and Level 2 breach can be triggered between 9:30 a.m. and 3:25p.m.
  • A Level 3 breach can be triggered at any time. 
  • A Level 1 and Level 2 breach halts trading for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  • A Level 3 breach halts trading for the remainder of the trading day.

Orders during a halt

You can continue to use Stake and place orders, but these will not be processed until the market re-opens.  

When a halt occurs, all non-executed orders will remain in a pending state until cleared, cancelled or expired. You can cancel these orders at any time during the halt.

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