A market order is an order to buy or sell a stock at the best available price. Generally, this type of order will be executed immediately. However, the price at which a market order will be executed is not guaranteed. It is important for investors to remember that the last-traded price is not necessarily the price at which a market order will be executed. In fast-moving markets, the price at which a market order will execute often deviates from the last-traded price or “real time” quote.
To understand where and how an order you place with your broker is executed, you should read Trade Execution: What Every Investor Should Know. For more information on the different types of orders you can place when you buy or sell a stock, please read our investor bulletin “Trading Basics”.