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Glossary: S

These are common terms used in the financial services industry

S&P 500

A market capitalisation weighted index of the top 500 companies listed in the New York stock exchange (NYSE) or the NASDAQ. Often used as a gauge of sentiment for the US market.

S&P/ASX 200 index

Investable benchmark for the Australian equity market. The S&P/ASX 200 is comprised of the S&P/ASX 100 plus an additional 100 stocks.


A trading strategy that involves placing short-term trades, sometimes less than a minute long, usually to try and capture small price movements.


A distinct subset of a market whose components share similar characteristics. Stocks are often grouped into different sectors depending upon the company's business. For example the FTSE 100 has banking, oil & gas and pharmaceutical sectors.

Security holder reference number (SRN)

Allocated by an issuer to identify a holder on an issuer sponsored or certificated subregister.

Sell limit / limit sell

A conditional trading order that indicates an instrument may be sold only at the designated price or higher.

Sell stop

An order to open a sell position at a price lower than the price at the moment of placing the order. It is subject to price depth ladder and can be slipped to the current market price.

Selling short

This is practice of selling shares that you do not own in the hope that the share price falls before you have to settle the contract. If the price does fall you can then buy the shares at the lower price and pocket the difference. Also see Shorting.


The process of a position closing against a specified market level once the position has gone beyond its last dealing time. Also see Expiry.

Settlement Day

The day in which cash settlement or delivery resulting from expired futures or options contracts is conducted.

Settlement month

The calendar month in which the last day that the contract can be traded falls.


Shares are units of ownership in individual companies. Owning shares entitles the holder to a proportion of the companies’ profits. When you share trade, profits come from increases in the value of company shares and the payment of dividends to shareholders, and these are based on company performance.

Short selling

Where an investor or fund manager borrows a security and subsequently sells the security with an obligation to purchase back the security and return it at a later date. Is the sale of a security that is not owned by the sellor and stock is borrowed to cover settlement.


A form of trading where the initial transaction is to sell, for example a CFD position taken in anticipation of a falling market. The position is closed with a buy trade. The trader will profit if the price falls and lose if it rises. When trading FX it refers to selling the base currency against the quote currency.


The difference between the requested level of an order and the actual price at which it was executed. Slippage can occur during periods of higher volatility when market prices move rapidly or gap. Also see Fill and Gapping.

Spot price

The price quoted for immediate settlement or delivery of a currency, index, commodity or share (that is payment for and delivery of a product). It’s the current price at which a commodity or currency can be bought or sold at that specific time.

Spot rate

An exchange rate for immediate settlement.


The difference between the bid and the ask price of a security or asset.

Spread charts

Spread charts show the buy and sell prices plotted into a dual line chart format. A blue line represents the buy price and an orange line represents the sell price; the shaded area is the difference between the two, or ‘the spread’.

SSX (previously known as APX)

Sydney Stock Exchange (SSX) is a securities exchange in Australia with a market licence granted by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). SSX provides opportunities for growth oriented companies to raise the capital they need for expansion from a diversified range of domestic and international investors, especially from the Asia-Pacific region. SSX offers Chinese market participants an alternative listing venue to the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges in China.


A chart indicator used in technical analysis to determine potential trend reversals, indicating an overbought or oversold market condition.

Stock exchange

A market on which securities are traded.

Stock index

Stock indices are a compilation of a number of stocks into one total price, allowing investors to easily follow the performance of certain groups of stocks.


An exchange member firm which provides advice and dealing services to the public as well as trading on its own account.

Stop entry order

Stop-entry orders allow you to enter a transaction at a selected target price and within a set time period. A stop-entry order to buy is an order at a price above the prevailing market price. A stop-entry order to sell is an order at a price below the prevailing market price. Stop-entry orders are subject to potential slippage.

Stop loss

An order placed to automatically close your position when the price reaches your specified stop-loss trigger price. A stop-loss order is designed to limit a loss on a position. This is not always guaranteed, however, as market conditions may cause the trade to be executed at a slightly different price, due to market gapping or slippage. Also known as a stop order.

Straight Through Processing (STP)

Straight-through processing gets your order to the market typically less than one second after it’s received by our website. This type of order processing lets you take advantage of trading opportunities as soon as you identify them.

Substantial Shareholder

Person/company holding more than 5% of a company's voting rights.


A price level that the market doesn’t fall below for some time. When prices fall to a support level the weight of buying outweighs selling and prices tend to be pushed up again. A number of different trend troughs often occur at a support level.

Support level

A technique used in technical analysis to indicate a price floor at which you would expect the price to 'bounce' off. A price point where it is anticipated buyers will enter the market and 'support' the price. The opposite of this is resistance.

Surplus volume

During the pre-open and auction phases, this is the volume of shares which will not be traded at the opening price, and will remain on the market at that price


A slang term for the Swiss franc.
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