Bloomberg terminal - A computer system provided by Bloomberg L.P. that enables professionals in finance and other industries to access the Bloomberg Professional service through which users can monitor and analyze real-time financial market data and place trades on the electronic trading platform. The system also provides news, price quotes, and messaging across its proprietary secure network. Most large financial firms have subscriptions to the Bloomberg Professional service.

Broker-Dealer - A person or firm in the business of buying and selling securities, operating as both a broker and a dealer, depending on the transaction. The term broker-dealer is used in U.S. securities regulation parlance to describe stock brokerages, because most of them act as both agents and principals. A brokerage acts as a broker (or agent) when it executes orders on behalf of clients, whereas it acts as a dealer (or principal) when it trades for its own account.

Counterparty - The other party that participates in a financial transaction. Every transaction must have a counterparty in order for the transaction to go through. More specifically, every buyer of an asset must be paired up with a seller that is willing to sell and vice versa.

Dark pool liquidity - The trading volume created by institutional orders that are unavailable to the public. The bulk of dark pool liquidity is represented by block trades facilitated away from the central exchanges. Also referred to as the "upstairs market," "dark liquidity" or "dark pool."

Dodd-Frank [Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection] Act - A compendium of federal regulations passed in 2010 in an attempt to prevent the recurrence of events that caused the 2008 financial crisis; commonly referred to as simply "Dodd-Frank", the act is supposed to lower risk in various parts of the U.S. financial system. It is named after U.S. Senator Christopher J. Dodd and U.S. Representative Barney Frank due to their significant involvement in the act’s creation and passage. Established new government agencies such as the:

  • Financial Stability Oversight Council
  • Orderly Liquidation Authority - monitors the performance of companies deemed “too big to fail” in order to prevent a widespread economic collapse; provides money to assist with the liquidation of financial companies that have been placed in receivership because of their financial weakness. The council can break up large banks that may pose a risk to the financial system because of their size. It can also quickly and neatly liquidate or restructure firms it deems too financially weak.
  • Federal Insurance Office - identifies and monitors insurance companies that may pose a systemic risk.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) - tasked with preventing predatory mortgage lending, improving the clarity of mortgage paperwork for consumers and reducing incentives for mortgage brokers to push home buyers into more expensive loans; changed the way credit card companies and other consumer lenders disclose their terms to consumers, requiring loan terms to be presented in a new, easy-to-read-and-understand format.
  • Volcker Rule - restricts the ways banks can invest and regulates trading in derivatives.
  • SEC Office of Credit Ratings - improve the accuracy of ratings provided by the agencies that evaluate the financial strength of businesses and governments.
  • Mini-flash crash - term applied when an individual U.S. stock briefly surges or plunges for no obvious reason.

    OTC/Over-The-Counter - a security traded in some context other than on a formal exchange; "over-the-counter" can be used to refer to stocks that trade via a dealer network as opposed to on a centralized exchange. It also refers to debt securities and other financial instruments such as derivatives, which are traded through a dealer network.

    Reg SCI - Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity; technical standards, testing, and reporting on material changes to the computing systems of exchanges and alternative trading systems.

    Regression testing - Any type of software testing that seeks to uncover new software bugs, or regressions, in existing functional and non-functional areas of a system after changes, such as enhancements, patches or configuration changes, have been made to them.

    Repository - A collection of one or more specifications.

    Securities Information Processor (SIP) - Responsible for distributing stock price data to brokers, traders, and media outlets.

    Self-help - A self-help alert is a notification issued by a trading exchange, such as the NYSE or Nasdaq, that a glitch has occurred on one of the exchanges and that exchange, therefore, should be temporarily bypassed to permit the regular flow of orders. A self-help order, for example, could be issued by the Nasdaq if the NYSE had experienced a problem and needed to halt trading on any or all of its stocks. The alert would be canceled when the NYSE resolved its problems.

    Specification - The definition and documentation of all of the messages, components and fields used in a particular version of FIX. Multiple specifications can be added to a FIX Repository.

    Swap Execution Facility (SEF) - a facility, trading system or platform in which multiple participants have the ability to execute or trade swaps by accepting bids and offers made by other participants that are open to multiple participants in the facility or system, through any means of interstate commerce (defined in the Dodd-Frank Act). As of May 2011, security-based swaps are traded exclusively in over-the-counter markets with little transparency or oversight. As a result, the expected role of the SEF would allow for transparency and provide the tools for a complete record and audit trail of trades.

    Venue - A place where something happens, esp. an organized event. More specifically, a trading venue is a place where buyers and sellers of securities go to trade.

    Definition sources: