Campbell R. Harvey's Hypertextual Finance Glossary

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Fifth letter of a Nasdaq stock symbol specifying a beneficial interest.
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SAUDI ARABIA.
See: Savings Association Insurance Fund
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Saudi Arabian Riyal.
See Structured Asset Trust Unit Repackagings.
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SOLOMON ISLANDS.
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Solomon Islands Dollar.
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SEYCHELLES.
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Seychelles Rupee.
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SUDAN.
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Sudanese Dinar.
See: Special drawing rights
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SWEDEN.
See: Stock Exchange Automated Quotation System
See: Securities & Exchange Commission
See: Shipper's Export Declaration
See: Stock Exchange of Hong Kong
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Swedish Krona.
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Saint Helena Pound.
See: Security Industry Automated Corporation
See: Standard Industrial Classification
See: Singapore International Monetary Exchange
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SINGAPORE.
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Singapore Dollar.
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SAINT HELENA.
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SLOVENIA.
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Slovenian Tolar.
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SVALBARD AND JAN MAYEN.
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SLOVAKIA.
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Slovak Republic Koruna.
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SIERRA LEONE.
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Sierra Leone Leone.
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SAN MARINO.
See: Stripped mortgage backed securities
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SENEGAL.
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SOMALIA.
See: Small Order Execution System
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Somalian Shilling.
See: Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SURINAME.
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Surinam Guilder.
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE.
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Sao Tome & Principe Dobra.
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for EL SALVADOR.
The ISO 4217 currency code for the El Salvador Colon.
See: Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC.
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Syrian Pound.
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for SWAZILAND.
The ISO 4217 currency code for the Swaziland Lilangeni.
Safe harbor
Often used in risk arbitrage as a form of shark repellent. A target company acquires a business so onerously regulated that it makes the target less attractive, giving it, in effect, a safe harbor.
Safe harbor lease
A lease to transfer tax benefits of ownership (depreciation and debt tax shield) from the lessee, if the lessee could not use them, to a lessor that could use them.
Holding by a bank of bonds and money market instruments. For a fee, the bank bank clips coupons and presents for payment at maturity.
Safety cushion
In a contingent immunization strategy, the difference between the initially available immunization level and the safety-net return.
Safety-net return
The minimum available return that will trigger an immunization strategy in a contingent immunization strategy.
Regular wages and benefits an employee receives from an employer.
Salary freeze
A temporary halt to increases in salary due to financial difficulties experienced by a company.
Salary reduction plan
A plan allowing employees to contribute pre-tax income to a tax-deferred retirement plan.
Salary Reduction Simplified Employee Pension Plan (SARSEP)
A low-cost, no-frills version of a 401(k) employee savings plan available to companies with 25 or fewer employees. It allows employees to make pretax contributions to their IRAs through salary reduction each year. The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 replaced SARSEPs with SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees) plans. Existing SARSEPs were allowed to add new participants, but new plans could not be formed after December 31, 1996.
An agreement between a buyer and a seller on the price to be paid for a security, followed by delivery.
Sale and lease-back
Sale of an existing asset to a financial institution that then leases it back to the user. Related: Lease.
Sales charge
The fee charged by a mutual fund at purchase of shares, usually payable as a commission to a marketing agent, such as a financial adviser, who is thus compensated for assistance to a purchaser. It represents the difference, if any, between the share purchase price and the share net asset value.
Sales Contract
Contract between a seller and buyer for the sale of goods, services, or both.
Sales forecast
A key input to a firm's financial planning process. External sales forecasts are based on historical experience, statistical analysis, and consideration of various macroeconomic factors.
Sales literature
Material written by an institution selling a product, which informs potential buyers of the product and its benefits.
Sales load
See: Sales charge
Sales tax
A percentage tax on the selling price of goods and services.
Sales-type lease
The leasing out of a firm's own equipment, such as a printing company leasing its own presses, thereby competing with an independent leasing company.
Sallie Mae
See: Student Loan Marketing Association
Salomon Brothers World Equity Index (SBWEI)
A top-down, float capitalization-weighted index used to measure the performance of fixed-income and equity markets. It includes approximately 6000 companies in 22 countries.
Salomon Brothers Non-U.S. Dollar World Government Bond Index
A benchmark index that includes institutionally traded bonds other than U.S. issues that have a fixed rate and a remaining maturity of one year or longer.
Salvage value
Scrap value of plant and equipment.
Same-Day Funds Settlement (SDFS)
A method of settlement used in trading between well-collateralized parties in good-the-same-day federal funds used by the Depository Trust Company for transactions in US government securities, short-term municipal notes, medium-term commercial paper notes, CMOs, and other instruments.
Same-day substitution
Offsetting changes in a margin account during the day that result in no overall change in the balance of the account.
Samurai bond
A yen-denominated bond issued in Tokyo by a non-Japanese borrower. Related: Bulldog bond and Yankee bond.
Samurai market
The foreign market in Japan.
Santa Claus Rally
Seasonal rise in stock prices in the last week of the calendar year, between Christmas and New Year's Day.
Sao Paulo Stock Exchange
See: Bolsa de Valores de Sao Paulo
Standard & Poor's Corporation.
S&P 500 Composite Index
Index of 500 widely held common stocks that measures the general performance of the market.
S&P phenomenon
Tendency of stocks newly added to the S&P composite index to rise in price due to a large number of buy orders as S&P-related index funds add the stock to their portfolios.
S&P Rating
Rating service provided by S&P that indicates the amount of risk involved with different securities.
Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002
Legislation passed largely as a result of a number of accounting scandals. Among the many features is the creation of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. This board is charged to: The Board shall: 1) register public accounting firms; 2) establish, or adopt, by rule, auditing, quality control, ethics, independence, and other standards relating to the preparation of audit reports for issuers; (3) conduct inspections of accounting firms; (4) conduct investigations and disciplinary proceedings, and impose appropriate sanctions; (5) perform such other duties or functions as necessary or appropriate; (6) enforce compliance with the Act, the rules of the Board, professional standards, and the securities laws relating to the preparation and issuance of audit reports and the obligations and liabilities of accountants with respect thereto; (7) set the budget and manage the operations of the Board and the staff of the Board.
Saturday night special
Often used in risk arbitrage. Sudden attempt by one company to take over another by making a public tender offer.
Technical chart pattern depicting a security whose price has reached bottom and is moving up.
Savings Association Insurance Fund (SAIF)
A government organization that replaced the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation as the provider of deposit insurance for thrift institutions.
Savings bank
An institution that primarily accepts consumer savings deposits and to make home mortgage loans.
Savings bond
A government bond issued in face value denominations from $50 to $10,000, with local and state tax-free interest and semiannually adjusted interest rates.
Savings deposits
Accounts that pay interest, typically at below-market interest rates, that do not have a specific maturity, and that usually can be withdrawn upon demand.
Savings element
Used in the context of life insurance, the cash value built up in a policy, which equals the amount of premium paid minus the cost of protection. This excess is invested by the insurance company, and the returns are tax-deferred inside the policy.
Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE) 401(k) plan
A tax-deferred retirement savings plan similar to a conventional 401(k) plan, redesigned with specific rules to meet the needs of small employers. The Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 created these plans for companies with fewer than 100 employees. An employee's contributions are indexed for inflation, and employers must make annual matching contributions.
Savings and loan association
National- or state-chartered institution that accepts savings deposits and invests the bulk of the funds thus received in mortgages.
Savings rate
Personal savings as a percentage of disposable personal income.
Payment of different rates of interest on CDs of varying maturities. A bank is said to "post a scale." Commercial paper dealers also post scales.
Describes a project that is in the same risk class as the whole firm. That is, the project allows the firm to grow larger in the context of their current business rather than diversify into new businesses.
Scale in
Gradually taking a position in a security or market over time.
Scale order
Order to buy (sell) a security that specifies the total amount to be bought (sold) and the amount to be bought (sold) at successively decreasing (increasing) price intervals; often placed in order to average the price.
How the characteristics of an object change as you change the size of your measuring device. For a three dimensional object, it could be the volume of an object covered as you increase the radius of a covering sphere. In a times series, it could be the change in the amplitude of the time series as you increase the increment of time.
To trade for small gains. Scalping normally involves establishing and liquidating a position quickly, usually within the same day.
Buying up the good IPOs.
Used for listed equity securities. Unconcentrated buy or sell interest.
Scenario analysis
The use of horizon analysis to project total returns under different reinvestment rates and future market yields.
Schedule C
Describes membership requirements and procedures of NASD, in its bylaws.
Schedule 13d
Disclosure form required when more than 5% of any class of equity securities in a publicly held corporation is purchased.
Scheduled cash flows
The mortgage principal and interest payments due to be paid under the terms of the mortgage, not including possible prepayments.
Scorched-earth policy
Often used in risk arbitrage. Any technique a company that has become the target of a takeover attempt uses to make itself unattractive to the acquirer. For example, it may agree to sell off its crown jewels, or schedule all debt to become due immediately after a merger.
Stands for Special Claim on Residual Equity, a certificate that entitles the owner to the capital appreciation of an underlying security, but not to the dividend income from the security.
S Corporation
A corporation that elects not to be taxed as a corporation. That is, the corporation does not directly pay federal income tax on its earnings. Similar to a partnership, it passes its income or losses and other tax items on to its shareholders.
Screen stocks
To analyze various stocks in search of stocks that meet predetermined criteria. For example, a simple value screen would sort all stocks by their price-to-book ratio and pick the stocks with the lowest ratios as candidates for the value portfolio.
A temporary document that represents a portion of a share of stock, often issued after a stock split or spin-off.
Collecting stock and bond certificates for their scarcity, rather than for their value as securities.
Search costs
Costs associated with locating a counterparty to a trade, including explicit costs (such as advertising) and implicit costs (such as the value of time). Related: Information costs.
Seasonally adjusted
Mathematically adjusted by moderating a macroeconomic indicator (e.g., oil prices/imports) so that relative comparisons can be drawn from month to month all year.
In the case of equity, having gained a reputation for quality with the investing public and enjoying liquidity in the secondary market; in the case of convertibles, having traded for at least 90 days after issue in Europe, and thus available for sale legally to U.S. investors.
Seasoned datings
Extended credit for customers who order goods in periods other than peak seasons.
Seasoned issue
Issue of a security for which there is an existing market. Related: Unseasoned issue.
Seasoned new issue
A new issue of stock after the company's securities have previously been issued. A seasoned new issue of common stock can be made using a cash offer or a rights offer.
Position of membership on a securities or commodity exchange, bought and sold at market prices.
SEC fee
Small fee the SEC charges to sellers of equity securities on an exchange.
Second market
The OTC market.
Second pass regression
A cross-sectional regression of portfolio returns on betas. The estimated slope is the measurement of the reward for bearing systematic risk during the period analyzed.
Second-preferred stock
Preferred stock issue that has less priority in claiming dividends and assets in liquidation than another issue of preferred stock.
Second round
Stage of venture capital financing following the start-up and first round stages and before the mezzanine level stage.
Second-to-die insurance
Insurance policy that, on the death of the spouse dying last, pays a death benefit to the heirs that is designed to cover estate taxes.
Secondary distribution/offering
Public sale of previously issued securities held by large investors, usually corporations or institutions, as distinguished from a primary distribution, where the seller is the issuing corporation. The sale is handled off the NYSE, by a securities firm or a group of firms, and the shares are usually offered at a fixed price related to the current market price of the stock.
Secondary issue
(1) Procedure for selling blocks of seasoned issues of stocks. (2) More generally, sale of already issued stock.
Secondary Offering
An IPO in which privately held shares in a corporation are sold to the public.
Secondary market
The market in which securities are traded after they are initially offered in the primary market. Most trading occurs in the secondary market. The New York Stock Exchange, as well as all other stock exchanges and the bond markets, are secondary markets. Seasoned securities are traded in the secondary market.
Secondary mortgage market
Buying and selling existing mortgage loans, which are often pooled and traded as mortgage-backed securities.
Secondary stocks
Stocks with smaller market capitalization, less quality and more risk than blue chip issues that behave differently than larger corporations' stocks.
Second mortgage lending
Loans secured by real estate previously pledged in a first mortgage.
Secert Ballot
In the context of corporate governance, this is also known as confidential voting. An independent third party or employees sworn to secrecy are used to count proxy votes, and the management usually agrees not to look at individual proxy cards. This can help eliminate potential conflicts of interest for fiduciaries voting shares on behalf of others, or can reduce pressure by management on shareholder-employees or shareholder-partners.
Section 16(a)
Provision of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that requires company insiders to file periodic reports disclosing their holdings and changes in beneficial ownership of the company's equity securities.
Section 16(b)
Provision of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that requires that any profit realized by a company insider from the purchase and sale, or sale and purchase, of the company's equity securities within a period of less than six months must be returned to the company. It is also known as the "short-swing profit" rule.
Section 83(b) Election
A tax filing within 30 days of grant that allows employees granted stock to pay taxes on the grant date instead of on the date restrictions lapse. If an employee files the election, taxes are based on the fair market value on the grant date, with any future appreciation taxed as a capital gain. If the employee does not file an election, taxes are based on the fair market value on the date the restrictions lapse, which will be higher assuming the stock has appreciated in value.
Section 423
The government agency responsible for the supervision and regulation of the securities industry and markets, as well as public securities offerings and the ongoing disclosure obligations of public companies.
Section 482
US Department of Treasury regulations governing transfer prices.
Used to characterize a group of securities that are similar with respect to maturity, type, rating, industry, and/or coupon.
Sector allocation
Investment of certain proportions of a portfolio in certain sectors. See: Industry allocation.
Sector diversification
Constituting of a portfolio of stocks of companies in each major industry group.
Sector fund
A mutual fund that concentrates on a relatively narrow market sector. These funds can experience higher share price volatility than some diversified funds because sector funds are subject to common market forces specific to a given sector.
Sector rotation
An active asset management strategy certain sectors, that tactically overweights and underweights depending on expected performance. Sometimes called rotation.
Long-term time frame (10-50 years or more).
Secured bond
A bond backed by the pledge of collateral, a mortgage, or other lien, as opposed to an unsecured bond, called a debenture .
Secured debt
Debt that has first claim on specified assets in the event of default.
Paper certificates (definitive securities) or electronic records (book-entry securities) evidencing ownership of equity (stocks) or debt obligations (bonds).
Securities Act of 1933
First law designed to regulate securities markets, requiring registration of securities and disclosure.
Securities Acts Amendments of 1975
Legislation to encourage the establishment of a national market system together with a system for nationwide clearing and settlement of securities transactions.
Securities analysts
Related: Financial analysts
Securities and commodities exchanges
Exchanges on which securities, options, and futures contracts are traded by members for their own accounts and for the accounts of customers.
Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC)
A federal agency that regulates the US financial markets. The SEC also oversees the securities industry and promotes full disclosure in order to protect the investing public against malpractice in the securities markets.
Securities and Exchange Commission Rules
Rules enacted by the SEC to assist in the regulation of US financial markets.
Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Legislation that created the SEC, outlawing dishonest practices in the trading of securities.
Securities Exchange of Thailand (SET)
The only stock market in Thailand, based in Bangkok.
Securities Industry Association (SIA)
An association of broker-dealers who sell taxable securities, which lobbies the government, records industry trends, and keeps records of broker profits.
Securities Industry Committee on Arbitration (SICA)
A private group that provides mediation services in case of customer complaints against securities firms.
Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)
A nonprofit corporation that insures customers' securities and cash held by member brokerage firms against the failure of those firms.
Securities loan
The loan of securities between brokers, often to cover a client's short sale; or a loan secured by marketable securities.
Securities markets
Organized exchanges plus over-the-counter markets in which securities are traded.
Creating a more or less standard investment instrument such as the mortgage pass-through security, by pooling assets to back the instrument. Also refers to the replacement of nonmarketable loans and/or cash flows provided by financial intermediaries with negotiable securities issued in the public capital markets.
Piece of paper that proves ownership of stocks, bonds, and other investments.
Security characteristic line
A plot on a graph of the excess return on a security over the risk-free rate as a function of the excess return on the market. The slope of this line is the security's beta.
Security deposit (initial)
Synonymous with the term margin. A cash amount that must be deposited with the broker for each contract as a guarantee of fulfillment of the futures contract. It is not considered as part payment or purchase. Related: Margin.
Security deposit (maintenance)
Related: Maintenance margin
Security Industry Automated Corporation (SIAC)
Entity that executes automated DOT orders.
Security interest
The creditor's right to take property or a portion of property offered as security.
Security market line
Line representing the relationship between expected return and market risk or beta. The slope of this line is the risk premium for beta.
Security Market Line
The linear relationship between expected asset returns and betas posited by the Capital Asset Pricing Model.
Security market plane
A plane that shows the relationship between expected return and the beta coefficient of more than one factor.
Security ratings
Commercial rating agencies' assessment of the credit and investment risk of securities.
Security selection
See: Security selection decision
Security selection decision
Choosing the particular stocks or bonds or other investment instruments to include in a portfolio.
Seed money
The first contribution by a venture capitalist toward the financing of a new business, often using a loan or purchase of convertible bonds or preferred stock. See: Mezzanine level and second round.
Seek a market
Search for a securities buyer or seller.
Segmented Market
A market in which there are impediments to the free flow of labor, capital, and information.
Segregation of securities
SEC rules to dictate how customers' securities may be used by broker-dealers in broker loans.
The profit which results from the difference between the cost of making coins and currency and the exchange value of coin and currency in the market.
Select ten portfolio
A unit investment trust that buys and holds for one year the ten stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average with the highest dividend yields.
Selective hedging
Protecting investments during some time periods and not during others.
Selected dealer agreement
The set of rules governing the selling group in an underwriting.
Self-amortizing mortgage
Mortgage whose entire principal is paid off in a specified period of time with regular interest and principal payments.
Self-directed IRA
An IRA that the account holder can after appointing a custodian manager to carry out investment instructions.
Self-employed income
Taxable income of a person involved in a sole proprietorship or other sort of free-lance work.
Self-employment tax
A tax self-employed people must pay to qualify them to receive Social Security benefits at retirement.
Self-liquidating loan
Loan to finance current assets. The sale of the current assets provides the cash to repay the loan.
Self-regulatory organization (SRO)
Organizations that enforce fair, ethical, and efficient practices in the securities and commodity futures industries, including all national securities and commodities exchanges and the NASD.
Consequence of a contract that induces only one group to participate.
When small parts of an object are qualitatively the same, or similar to the whole object. In certain deterministic fractals, like the Sierpinski Triangle, small pieces look the same as the entire object. In random fractals, small increments of time will be statistically similar to larger increments of time. See: Fractal.
Self-supporting debt
Bonds sold to finance a project that will produce enough revenue through tolls or other charges to retire the debt . See: revenue bond.
Self Tender
A company buys back a certain percentage of its own shares through a tender offer.
Self-tender offer
A company that tenders for its own shares.
Sell the book
Used for listed equity securities. Order to a broker by the holder of a large quantity of shares of a security to sell all that can be absorbed at the current bid price. The term derives from the specialist's book - the record of all the buy and sell orders members have placed in the stock one handles. In this scenario, the buyers potentially include those in the specialist's book, the specialist for its own account, and broker-dealers.
Sell hedge
Related: short hedge.
Sell limit order
Conditional trading order that indicates that a security may be sold at the designated price or higher. Related: Buy limit order.
Sell off
Sale of securities under pressure. See: Dumping.
Sell order
An order that may take many different forms by an investor to a broker to sell a particular stock, bond, option, future, mutual fund, or other holding.
Sell out
Liquidation of a margin account after a customer has failed to bring an account to a required level by producing additional equity after a margin call.
The selling of securities by a broker when a customer fails to pay for them.
The complete sale of all securities in a new issue.
Sell plus order
Market or limit order to sell a stated amount of stock provided that the price to be obtained is not lower than the last sale if the last sale was a plus, or zero plus tick, and is not lower than the last sale plus the minimum fractional change in the stock if the last sale was a minimum or zero minimum tick. (In a limit order, sale cannot be lower than the limit, regardless of tick.)
Sell price
See: Redemption price
Sell-side analyst
A financial analyst who works for a brokerage firm and whose recommendations are passed on to the brokerage firm's customers. Also called a Wall Street analyst.
Seller financing
Funding a purchase by a seller's loan to the buyer, the buyer takes full title to the property when the loan is fully repaid.
Seller's market
Market in which demand exceeds supply. As a result, the seller can dictate the price and the terms of sale.
Seller's option
Delayed settlement/delivery in a transaction.
Seller's points
In reference to a loan, seller's points consist of a lump sum paid by the seller to the buyer's creditor to reduce the cost of the loan to the buyer. This payment is either required by the creditor or volunteered by the seller, usually in a loan to buy real estate. Generally, one point equals one percent of the loan amount.
Selling climax
A sudden drop in security prices as sellers dump their holdings.
Selling concession
The discount underwriters offer the selling group on securities in a new issue.
Selling dividends
Inducing a prospective customer to buy shares in order to profit from a dividend scheduled in the near future.
Selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses
Expenses such as salespersons' salaries and commissions, advertising and promotion, travel and entertainment, office payroll and expenses, and executives' salaries.
Selling on the good news
A strategy of selling stock shortly after a company announces good news and the stock price rises. Investors believe that the price is as high as it can go and is on the brink of going down.
Selling group
All banks involved in selling or marketing a new issue of stock or bonds.
Selling short
Selling a stock not actually owned. If an investor thinks the price of a stock is going down, the investor could borrow the stock from a broker and sell it. Eventually, the investor must buy the stock back on the open market. For instance, you borrow 1000 shares of XYZ on July 1 and sell it for $8 per share. Then, on Aug. 1, you purchase 1000 shares of XYZ at $7 per share. You've made $1000 (less commissions and other fees) by selling short.
Selling short against the box
Selling short stock that is actually owned by the seller but held in the box, meaning it is held in safekeeping. The seller borrows securities needed to cover as the stock in the box may be inaccessible, or the seller may not wish to disclose ownership.
Selling the spread
A spread whose option to be sold is trading at a higher premium than the option to be bought.
Selling Syndicate
A group of underwriters that issues a firm's securities by buying them from the issuing firm and reselling them to a group of smaller brokerage firms for eventual sale to individual investors.
Semistrong-form efficiency
A form of pricing efficiency that profits the price of a security fully reflects all public information (including, but not limited to, historical price and trading patterns). Compare weak-form efficiency and strong-form efficiency.
"Send it in"
Market language: "I bought your stock - 'send it in' (and possibly more)."
Senior debt
Debt whose terms in the event of bankruptcy, require it to be repaid before subordinated debt receives any payment.
Senior mortgage bond
A bond that, in the event of bankruptcy, will be redeemed before any other bonds are repaid.
Senior refunding
Replacement by the issuer of securities with 5-to 12-year maturities with securities of 15-year or longer maturities, in order to delay, reduce, or consolidate payment.
Senior security
A security that, in the event of bankruptcy, will be redeemed before any other securities.
The order of repayment. In the event of bankruptcy, senior debt must be repaid before subordinated debt is repaid.
Sensitive market
A market that reacts to a great extent to good or bad news.
Sensitivity analysis
Analysis of the effect on a project's profitability of changes in sales, cost, and so on.
Sentiment indicators
The general feeling of investors about the state of the market, such as whether they are bullish or bearish.
Separate customer
Method of allocating insurance by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. Each account that is under the name of a different person or group of people is entitled to maximum protection.
Separate tax returns
Tax returns of married persons who choose to file their returns individually, usually because this approach produces lower overall tax payments.
Separate Trading of Registered Interest and Principal Securities (STRIPS)
Long-term notes and bonds divided into principal and interest-paying components, which may be transferred and sold in amounts as small as $1000. STRIPS are sold at auction at a minimum par amount, varying for each issue. The amount is an arithmetic function of the issue's interest rate.
Separation property
The property that portfolio choice can be divided into two independent tasks: (1) Determination of the optimal risky portfolio, which is a purely mathematical problem, and (2) the personal choice of the best mix of the optimal risky portfolio and the risk-free asset, which depends on a person's degree of risk aversion.
Separation theorem
Theory that the value of an investment to an individual is not dependent on consumption preferences. That is, investors will want to accept or reject the same investment projects by using the NPV rule, regardless of personal preference.
Serial bonds
Corporate bonds arranged so that specified principal amounts become due on specified dates. Related: Term bonds.
Serial covariance
The covariance between a variable and the lagged value of the variable; the same as autocorrelation.
Serial entrepreneur
Business person that successfully starts (does not kill) a number of different businesses.
Serial redemption
The redemption of a serial bond.
Options: All option contracts of the same class that also have the same unit of trade, expiration date, and exercise price. Stocks: shares that have common characteristics, such as rights to ownership and voting, dividends, or par value. In the case of many foreign shares, one series may be owned only by citizens of the country in which the stock is registered.
Series bond
Bond that may be issued in several series under the same indenture document.
Series E bond
A local and state tax-free bond issued by the U.S. government from 1941 to 1979, which was then replaced by Series HH bonds.
Series EE bond
See: Savings bond
Series HH bond
See: Savings bond
Service charge
A component of some finance charges, such as the fee for triggering an overdraft checking account into use.
A percentage of a municipal or corporate bond underwriting that is allocated for handling by a minority-owned broker/dealer firm.
Set of contracts perspective
View of corporation as a set of contracting relationships among individuals who have conflicting objectives, such as shareholders or managers. The corporation is a legal construct that serves as the nexus for the contracting relationships.
Set up
Applies mainly to convertible securities. Arbitrage involving going long the convertible and short a certain percentage of the underlying common. Antithesis of Chinese hedge.
Settle price
An average of the trading prices in the futures market during the last few minutes of trading.
When payment is made for a trade.
Settlement date
The date on which payment is made to settle a trade. For stocks traded on US exchanges, settlement is currently three business days after the trade. For mutual funds, settlement usually occurs in the US the day following the trade. In some regional markets, foreign shares may require months to settle.
Settlement options
The various possibilities open to a beneficiary under a life insurance policy as to how the benefit will be paid out.
Settlement price
A figure determined by the closing range that is used to calculate gains and losses in futures market accounts. Settlement prices are used to determine gains, losses, margin calls, and invoice prices for deliveries. Related: Closing range.
Settlement rate
The rate suggested in Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) 87 for discounting the obligations of a pension plan. The rate at which the pension benefits could be effectively settled if the company sponsoring the pension plan wishes to terminate its pension obligation.
Settlement risk
The risk that one party will deliver and the counterparty will not be able to pay and vice versa.
Severally but not jointly
An agreement between members of an underwriting group buy a new issue (severally), but not to assume joint liability for shares left unsold by other members.
A settlement received after being released from a corporation. In the context of corporate governance, an agreement that assures high-level executives of their postions or some compensation and are not contingent upon a change in control.
Segmented market
A market that is partially or wholly isolated from other markets by one or more market imperfections.
Shadow calendar
A backlog of securities issues registered with the SEC, awaiting the determination of an offer date.
Shadow stock
First, a public company may create a stock that strips out the market wide movements for the purpose of rewarding managers. That is, the management might have done a great job - but the traded stock plummets because the market as a whole plummets. A second interpretation of shadow stock is a phantom stock that is created by a private company (i.e. that does not have stock traded either on exchange or over the counter) again for the purpose of performance evaluation and rewards.
The thin lines above and below the real body on a candlestick line.
A dramatic change in market conditions that forces speculators to sell their positions, often at a loss.
A business transaction, such as a limited partnership, that is entered into for the sake of avoiding tax.
Shanghai Stock Exchange
One of two major securities markets in China.
Share broker
A discount broker who charges per share traded, and reduces the per unit charge as the number of shares traded increases, as opposed to a dealer who charges a percentage of the dollar amount of the trade.
Share repurchase
Program by which a corporation buys back its own shares in the open market. It is usually done when shares are undervalued. Since repurchase reduces the number of shares outstanding and thus increases earnings per share, it tends to elevate the market value of the remaining shares held by stockholders.
Shared Appreciation Mortgage (SAM)
A mortgage with a low rate of interest, offset by giving the lender some portion of the appreciation in the value of the underlying property.
Person or entity that owns shares or equity in a corporation.
Shareholders' equity
This is a company's total assets minus total liabilities. A company's net worth is the same thing.
Shareholders' letter
A section of an annual report where one can find general overall discussion by management of successful and failed strategies. Provides guidance for looking at specific parts of the report.
Certificates or book entries representing ownership in a corporation or similar entity.
Shares authorized
The maximum number of shares of stock of a company allowed in the articles of incorporation, which may be changed only by a shareholder vote. See: Issued and outstanding.
Shark repellant
Often used in risk arbitrage. Examples are golden parachutes, poison pills, safe harbor, and scorched-earth policy. Porcupine provision. Amendment to company charter intended to protect it against takeover.
Shark watcher
Often used in risk arbitrage. Firm specializing in the early detection of takeover activity. Such a firm, whose primary business is usually the solicitation of proxies for client corporations, monitors trading patterns in a client's stock and attempts to determine the identity of parties accumulating shares.
Sharpe benchmark
A statistically created benchmark that adjusts for a manager's index-like tendencies. Named after William Sharpe, Nobel Laureate, and developer of the capital asset pricing model.
Sharpe ratio
A measure of a portfolio's excess return relative to the total variability of the portfolio. Related: Treynor index. Named after William Sharpe, Nobel Laureate, and developer of the capital asset pricing model.
Shelf offering
Offering of registered securities covered by a prospectus whose distribution is not underwritten on a firm commitment basis. The shares may be sold in one block or in small amounts from time to time in agency or principal transactions. See: Rule 415.
Shelf registration
A procedure that allows firms to file one registration statement covering several issues of the same security. SEC Rule 415, adopted in the 1980s, allows a corporation to comply with registration requirements up to two years prior to a public offering of securities. With the registration "on the shelf," the corporation, by simply updating regularly filed annual, quarterly, and related reports to the SEC, can go to the market as conditions become favorable with a minimum of administrative preparation and expense.
Shell corporation
An incorporated company with no significant assets or operations, often formed to obtain financing before beginning actual business, or as a front tax evasion.
Shenzhen Stock Exchange
One of two major securities markets in China.
Shipper's Export Declaration (SED)
Document required by the U.S. Department of Commerce for exports of certain controlled items, and/or shipments to certain countries, and/or shipments anywhere that exceed certain dollar amounts. This document is used to monitor shipments of controlled goods.
Shipping Documents
A generic term for the various typesof forms required for overseas shipments, such as commercial invoices, transport documents, packing lists, origin certificates, etc.
The tendency to do less work when the return is smaller. Owners may have more incentive to shirk if they issue equity as opposed to debt, because they retain less ownership interest in the company and therefore may receive a smaller return. Thus, shirking is considered an agency cost of equity.
Shock absorbers
See: Circuit breakers
Shogun bond
Dollar bond issued in Japan by a nonresident.
Venture capital jargon. Refers to two or more venture capital firms fighting for the startup.
Wall Street slang for a firm.
Shopped stock
Sell inquiry that has been seen by or shown to other dealers before coming to an investment bank.
Seeking to obtain the best bid or offer available by calling a number of dealers and/or brokers.
One who has sold a contract to establish a market position and who has not yet closed out this position through an offsetting purchase; the opposite of a long position. Related: Long.
Short against the box
A short sale of a stock is where the seller actually owns the stock, but does not want to close out the position.
Short Bias
In the context of hedge funds, a style of management where part or all of the fund consists of short sales.
Short bonds
Bonds with short (not much time to maturity) current maturities.
Short book
See: Unmatched book.
Short coupon
A bond payment covering less than six-months' interest, because the original issue date is less than six months from the first scheduled interest payment. A bond with a short time to maturity, usually two years or less.
Short covering
Used in the context of general equities. Actual purchase of securities by a short seller to replace those borrowed at the time of a short sale.
Short exempt
Used for listed equity securities. A special trading situation where a short sale is allowed on a minustick. The owners of a convertible trading at parity can sell the equivalent amount of common short on a minus tick, assuming they have the firm intention to convert.
Short hedge
The sale of futures contracts to eliminate or lessen the possible decline in value of an approximately equal amount of the actual financial instrument or physical commodity. Related: Long hedge.
Short interest
Total number of shares of a security that investors have sold short and that have not been repurchased to close out the short position. Usually, investors sell short to profit from price declines. As a result, the short interest is often an indicator of the amount of pessimism in the market about a particular security, although there are other reasons to short that are not related to pessimism. For example, hedging strategies for mergers and acquisition as well as derivative positions may involve short sales.
Short interest theory
The theory that a large interest in short positions in stocks will precede a rise in the market prices, because the short positions must eventually be covered by purchases of the stock.
Short-Form Registration
A procedure that allows a firm to condense its registration statement and prospectus by referencing financial data already on file with the SEC.
Short position
Occurs when a person sells stocks he or she does not yet own. Shares must be borrowed, before the sale, to make "good delivery" to the buyer. Eventually, the shares must be bought back to close out the transaction. This technique is used when an investor believes the stock price will drop.
Short ratio(or short interest ratio)
Number of shares of a security that investors have sold short divided by average daily volume of the security (measured over 30 days or 90 days). There are various interpretations of this ratio. When people short, it is usually (but not always) because they are pessimistic about the security's future performance. Shorting involves buying at at some point however. Hence, some would interpret a high short ratio as an indicator that there will be some buying pressure on the security that would increase its price.
Short-run operating activities
Events and decisions concerning the short-term finance of a firm, such as how much inventory to order and whether to offer cash terms or credit terms to customers.
Short sale
Selling a security that the seller does not own but is committed to repurchasing eventually. It is used to capitalize on an expected decline in the security's price.
Short-sale rule
An SEC rule requiring that short sales be made only in a market that is moving upward; this means either on an uptick from the last sale, or showing no downward movement.
Short selling
Establishing a market position by selling a security one does not own in anticipation of the price of that security falling.
Short settlement
Trade settlement made prior to the standard five-day period due to customer request.
Short-short test
A repealed IRS restriction, that used to limit profits from short-term trading, which three months, to 30% of gross income. The penalty for exceeding this limit would be the loss of certain tax-free benefits.
Short squeeze
When a lack of supply tends to force prices upward. In particular, when prices of a stock or commodity futures contracts start to move up sharply and many traders with short positions are forced to buy stocks or commodities in order to cover their positions and prevent (limit) losses. This sudden surge of buying leads to even higher prices, further aggravating the losses of short sellers who have not covered their positions.
Short straddle
A straddle involves both purchase and sale. In short straddle one put and one call are sold.
Short-term capital gain
A profit on the sale of a security or mutual fund share that has been held for one year or less. A short-term capital gain is taxed as ordinary income.
Short-term interest rates
Interest rates on loan contracts-or debt instruments such as Treasury bills, bank certificates of deposit or commerical paper-having maturities of less than one year. Often called money market rates.
Short-term reserves
Investments in interest-bearing bank deposits, money market instruments, U.S. Treasury bills, and short-term bonds.
Short tender
Practice prohibited by SEC that involves the use of borrowed stock to respond to a tender offer.
Any investments with a maturity of one year or less.
Short-term bond fund
A bond mutual fund holding short to intermediate-term bonds that have maturities of three to five years.
Short-term debt
Debt obligations, recorded as current liabilities, requiring payment within the year.
Short-term financial plan
A financial plan that covers the coming fiscal year.
Short-term gain (or loss)
A profit or loss realized from the sale of securities held for less than a year that is taxed at normal income tax rates if the net total is positive.
Short-term investment services
Services that assist firms in making short-term investments.
Short-term solvency ratios
Ratios used to judge the adequacy of liquid assets for meeting short-term obligations as they come due, including (1) the current ratio, (2) the acid test ratio, (3) the inventory turnover ratio, and (4) the accounts receivable turnover ratio.
Short-term tax exempts
Short-term securities issued by states, municipalities, and quesi-government entities such as local housing and urban renewal agencies.
Short-term trend
Erratic price movements that last less than three weeks.
Shortage cost
Costs that fall with increases in the level of investment in current assets.
Shortfall risk
The risk of falling short of any investment target.
Show me buyer/seller
Used in the context of general equities. Customer who has not placed a firm order to buy stock but has requested that the salesperson propose available stock for sale or purchase, along with the asking/bid price. See: Bidding buyer.
Show stopper
A legal barrier, such as a scorched-earth policy or shark repellant system, that firms use to prevent a takeover.
Show and tell list
Used in the context of general equities. Block list which is full of real customer indications (rather than profile).
Discrepancy between a firm's actual inventory and its recorded inventory due to theft, deterioration, loss, or clerical problems.
Shut out the book
Used for listed equity securities. Exclude a public bid or offer from participation in a print.
Side effects
Effects of a proposed project on other parts of the firm.
Side-by-side trading
Trading a security and an option on the same security on the same exchange.
Hypothetical position referring to noninvolvement in a stock; merely watching.
Sideways market
See: Horizontal price movement
Sight draft
Demand for immediate payment.
Sight Letter of Credit
A letter of credit made payable to a beneficiary upon presentation to the opener of conforming documents.
To convey information through a firm's actions. The more costly it is to provide a signal, the more credibility it has. For example, to call a press conference and tell everyone that the firm's prospects have improved is less effective than saying the same thing and raising the dividend.
Signaling approach
Notion that insiders in a firm have information that the market does not have, and that the choice of capital structure by insiders can signal information to outsiders and change the value of the firm. This theory is also called the asymmetric information approach.
Signaling approach (on dividend policy)
The argument that dividend changes are important signals to investors about changes in management's expectation about future earnings.
Signature guarantee
The authentication of a signature in the form of a stamp, seal, or written confirmation by a bank or member of a domestic stock exchange (or other acceptable guarantor). A notary public cannot provide a signature guarantee. A signature guarantee is a common requirement when transferring or redeeming shares or changing the ownership of an account.
Signature loan
A good faith loan that is unsecured and requires only the borrower's signature on the loan application.
Signatures on Proxies
The basic rule of acceptability is that if the signature reads as the proxy is printed, it is acceptable. If an individual signs on behalf of another individual and states a legal representation, it is acceptable. Examples: executor, guardian, power of attorney; but not husband, wife, next of kin, etc. On corporate registrations, a manual signature in the name of the Corporation is acceptable. A facsimile signature is also acceptable, but a rubber-stamp signature with a signature line is acceptable only if signed on that line. With joint tenancy, one signature is sufficient, as in the case of one trustee signing for two or more.
Significant influence
The holding of a large portion of the equity of a corporation, usually at least 20%, which gives the holder a significant amount of control over the corporation. This degree of holding must be recorded in a firm's financial statements.
Significant order
An order to buy or sell a large enough quantity of securities that the price of the security may be affected. Institutional investors usually spread out such an order over a few days or weeks to avoid adverse pressures on the buy or sell price.
Significant order imbalance
A large number of buy or sell orders for a stock that cause an abnormally wide spread between bid and offer prices, and often causes the exchange to halt the sale of the stock until significant balance has been reestablished.
Silent partner
A partner in a business who has no role in management but shares in the liability, tax responsibility, and cash flow.
Silver Parachutes
These provisions are similar to Golden Parachutes in that they provide severance payments upon a change in corporate control, but unlike Golden Parachutes, a large number of a firm's employees are eligible for these benefits.
Single-buyer policy
Ex-Im Bank practice allows the exporter to insure certain transactions selectively.
Single European Act
Act intended to eliminate barriers on trade and capital flows between and among European countries.
Simple compound growth method
Calculating a growth rate by relating terminal value to initial value and assuming a constant percentage annual rate of growth between the two values.
Simple interest
Interest calculated as a simple percentage of the original principal amount. Compare to compound interest.
Simple IRA
A salary deduction plan for retirement benefits provided by some small companies with no more than 100 employees.
Simple linear regression
A regression analysis between only two variables, one dependent and the other explanatory.
Simple linear trend model
An extrapolative statistical model that asserts that earnings have a base level and grow at a constant amount each period.
Simple moving average
The mean, calculated at any time over a past period of fixed length.
Simple prospect
An investment opportunity in which only two outcomes are possible.
Simple rate of return
The return from investments figured by dividing income plus capital gains by the amount of capital invested. The effect of compounding is not taken into account.
Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan
A pension plan in which both the employee and the employer contribute to an individual retirement account. Also available to the self-employed.
The use of a mathematical model to imitate a situation many times in order to estimate the likelihood of various possible outcomes. See: Monte Carlo simulation.
Singapore International Monetary Exchange (SIMEX)
A leading futures and options exchange in Singapore.
Single-country fund
A mutual fund that invests in individual countries outside the United States.
Single-factor model
A model of security returns that acknowledges only one common factor. The single factor is usually the market return. See: Factor model.
Single-index model
A model of stock returns that decomposes influences on returns into a systematic factor, as measured by the return on the broad market index, and firm specific factors. Related: Market Model
Single life annuity
An annuity covering one person. A straight life annuity provides payments until death, while a life annuity with a guaranteed period provides payments until death or continues payments to a beneficiary for a guaranteed term, such as ten years.
Single option
A single put option or call option, as opposed to a spread or straddle, which involves multiple puts and calls.
Single-payment bond
A bond that makes only one payment of principal and interest.
Single-Premium Deferred Annuity (SPDA)
An IRA-like annuity into which an investor makes a lump-sum payment that is invested in either a fixed-return instrument or a variable-return portfolio, which is taxed only when distributions are taken.
Single-premium life insurance
A whole life insurance policy requiring one premium payment, which accrues cash value much more quickly than a policy paid in installments.
Single-state municipal bond fund
A mutual fund investing only in government obligations within a single state, with state tax-free dividends, but taxed capital gains.
A bond with interest and principal payments coming from the proceeds of a sinking fund.
Sinking fund
A fund to which money is added on a regular basis that is used to ensure investor confidence that promised payments will be made and that is used to redeem debt securities or preferred stock issues.
Sinking fund requirement
A condition included in some corporate bond indentures that requires the issuer to retire a specified portion of debt each year. Any principal due at maturity is called the balloon maturity.
Sit tight
Directive from the trader to the customer to be patient, emphasizing that one's piece of business will be executed.
Refers to the magnitude of an offering, an order, or a trade. Large as in the size of an offering, the size of an order, or the size of a trade. Size is relative from market to market and security to security. "I can buy size at 102-22," means that a trader can buy a significant amount at 102-22. Small is <10,000 shares. Medium is 15,000-25,000 shares. Good is 50,000 shares. Size is 100,000 shares. Good six-figure size is 200,000-300,000 shares. Multiple six-figure size is >300,000 shares. Size of the market is actual number of shares represented in one's market, or bid and offering; unless specified, assumed to be at least 500 to 1000 shares, depending on the stock.
Size out the book
Overt action to exclude a public bid or offer from participation in a print through trading a larger size in the book. Can never size out a market order. See: Priority, shut out the book.
Skewed distribution
Probability distribution in which an unequal number of observations lie below (negative skew) or above (positive skew) the mean.
Negative skewness means there is a substantial probability of a big negative return. Positive skewness means that there is a greater-than-normal probability of a big positive return.
The ability to accurately forecast returns. We measure skill using the information coefficient.
Skip-day settlement
Settling a trade one business day beyond what is normal.
Skip-payment privilege
A mortgage contract clause giving borrowers the right to skip payments if they are ahead of schedule.
Skort-Swing Transaction
Any purchase and sale, or sale and purchase, of the issuer's equity securities by an insider within a period of less than six months, See: Section 16(b) above.
SLD last sale
Shortened version of "sold last sale," which shows up on the consolidated tape when a large change (one point for lower priced securities and two points for higher-priced securities) occurs between transactions.
Stock in which there is little investor interest but that has significant potential to gain in price once its attractions are recognized. Antithesis of high flyer.
Sleeping beauty
Often used in risk arbitrage. Potential takeover target that has not yet been approached by an acquirer. Such a company usually has particularly attractive features, such as a large amount of cash, or undervalued real estate or other assets.
The difference between estimated transactions costs and actual transactions costs. The difference usually represents revisions to price difference or spread and commission costs.
A temporary fall in performance, often describing consistently falling security prices for several weeks or months.
Small business policy
Insurance coverage available to new exporters and small businesses.
A stock with a small capitalization, meaning a total equity value of less than $500 million.
Small-capitalization (small-cap) fund
A mutual fund that invests primarily in stocks of companies whose market value is less than $1 billion. Small-cap stocks historically have been more volatile than large-cap stocks, and often perform differently from the overall market.
Small-capitalization (small cap) stocks
The stocks of companies whose market value is less than $1 billion. Small-cap companies tend to grow faster than large-cap companies and typically use any profits for expansion rather to pay dividends. They also are more volatile than large-cap companies, and have a higher failure rate.
Small-firm effect
The tendency of small firms (in terms of total market capitalization) to outperform the stock market (consisting of both large and small firms).
Small investor
An individual person investing in small quantities of stock or bonds. This group of investors makes up a minimal fraction of total stock ownership.
Small issues exemption
Securities issues that involve less than $1.5 million are not required to file a registration statement with the SEC. Instead, they are governed by Regulation A, for which only a brief offering statement is needed.
Small Order Execution System (SOES)
Three-tiered system of automatic execution of an order at the best price. Size is either 200, 500, or, most often, 1000 shares.
Smart money
Investors who make consistent profits in the market, regardless of the investing environment, by making wise, educated moves.
Small amount of price, usually +/- 1/8 or 1/4.
Smithsonian Agreement
A revision to the Bretton Woods international monetary system that was signed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., in December 1971. Included were a new set of par values, widened bands to +/- 2.25% of par, and an increase in the official value of gold to US$38.00 per ounce.
Arrangement established in 1972, that ties European currencies to each other within specified limits.
Used in the context of general equities. Process by which the exercise of stop orders in a declining or advancing market causes further downward or upward pressure on prices, thus triggering more stop orders and more price pressure, and so on.
Social Security benefits
Monthly government payments to retired workers or their families who have paid Social Security taxes for a total of 40 quarters or 10 years.
Social Security Disability Income Insurance
Program financed by the Social Security tax to provide assistance to disabled individuals with disabilities expected to last at least one year, to compensate for lost income.
Socially conscious mutual fund
A mutual fund that does not invest in companies that have interests in socially unacceptable markets or produce harmful products or by-products, such as high levels of environmental pollution.
Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT)
A dedicated computer network to support funds transfer messages internationally between over 900 member banks world-wide.
"Soft" capital rationing
Constraints on spending that under certain circumstances can be violated or even viewed as constituting targets rather than absolute limits.
Soft currency
A money of a country that is expected to drop in value relative to other currencies.
Soft dollars
The value of research services that brokerage houses supply to investment managers "free of charge" in exchange for the investment manager's business commissions.
Soft landing
A term describing a growth rate high enough to keep the economy out of recession, but also slow enough to prevent high inflation and interest rates.
Soft market
A buyer's market in which supply exceeds demand, causing little trading activity and wide bid-ask spreads.
Soft spot
Stocks or groups of stocks that remain weak in a strong market.
Tropical commodities such as coffee, sugar, and cocoa.
Sold away
Refers to over-the-counter trading. Having sold stock to another dealer before making the present offering.
Sold-out market
Unavailability of a futures contract in a particular commodity or maturity date because of contract executions and limited offerings.
Sole proprietorship
A business owned by a single individual. A sole proprietor pays no corporate income tax but has unlimited liability for business debts and obligations.
Ability to meet obligations.
Sour bond
A bond issue that has defaulted on interest or principal payments, and will thus trade at a large discount and a poor credit rating.
Source of funds seller
Customer seller of stock for the purpose of raising cash for other purchases. Such a seller will sell only at advantageous prices, and not aggressively.
Sources and applications of funds statement
See: Statement of cash flows
South African Futures Exchange (SAFEX)
Electronic futures and options exchange based in South Africa.
Sovereign risk
The risk that a central bank will impose foreign exchange regulations that will reduce or negate the value of FX contracts. Also refers to the risk of government default on a loan made to a country or guaranteed by it.
To cover all contingencies within a specified range.
SPDRs (Spiders) are designed to track the value of the Standard & Poor's 500 Composite Price Index. Stands for Standard & Poor's Depositary Receipt. They trade on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol SPY. SPDRs are similar to closed-end funds but are formally known as, a unit investment trust. One SPDR unit is valued at approximately one-tenth (1/10) of the value of the S&P 500. Dividends are disbursed quarterly, and are based on the accumulated stock dividends held in trust, less any expenses of the trust. See: Mid-cap SPDR.
Special arbitrage account
A margin account with lower cash requirements, reserved for transactions that are hedged by an offsetting position in futures or options.
Special assessment bond
A municipal bond with interest paid by the taxes of the community benefiting from the bond-funded project.
Special bid
A method of purchasing a large block of stock on the NYSE by advertising a client's large buy order, and matching it up with a number of other traders' smaller sell orders.
Special bond account
A special broker margin account used only for transactions in US government bonds, municipals, and eligible listed and unlisted non-convertible corporate bonds.
Special dividend
Also referred to as an extra dividend. Dividend that is unlikely to be repeated.
Special Drawing Rights (SDR)
A form of international reserve assets, created by the IMF in 1967, whose value is based on a portfolio of widely used currencies.
Special Meeting
Refers to a meeting of shareholders outside the usual annual general meeting. In the context of corporate governance, some limitations either increase the level of shareholder support required to call a special meeting beyond that specified by state law or eliminate the ability to call one entirely. Such provisions add an extra time delay to many proxy fights, since bidders must wait until the regularly scheduled annual meeting to replace board members or dismantle takeover defenses.
Special-Purpose Entity
A financing technique in which a company decreases its risk by creating separate partnerships, rather than subsidiaries, for certain holdings and solicits outside investors to take on the risk. In order to qualify as a special-purpose entity, whose financial results are not carried on the company's books, the unit must meet strict accounting guidelines. Compare to subsidary.
On an exchange, the member firm that is designated as the market maker (or dealer for a listed common stock). Member of a stock exchange who maintains a "fair and orderly market" in one or more securities. Only one specialist can be designated for a given stock, but dealers may be specialists for several stocks. In contrast, there can be multiple market makers in the OTC market. Major functions include executing limit orders on behalf of other exchange members for a portion of the floor broker's commission, and buying or selling for the specialist's own account to counteract temporary imbalances in supply and demand and thus prevent wide swings in stock prices.
Specialist block purchase and sale
Purchase of a large number of securities by a specialist for himself or to pass on to another floor trader or block buyer.
Specialist market
Market in a stock made solely by the specialist, as no public orders, and henceforth no depth, exist in the market.
Specialist unit
A specialist who maintains a stable market by acting as a principal and agent for other brokers in one or many stocks.
Specialist's book
Chronological record maintained by a specialist that includes the specialist's own inventory of securities, market orders to sell short, and limit orders and stop orders that other stock exchange members have placed with the specialist.
Specialist's short-sale ratio
The percentage of the total short sales of stock sold short by specialists.
Specific issues market
The market in which dealers reverse in securities they wish to short.
Specific Return
The part of the excess return not explained by common factors. The specific return is independent of (uncorrelated with) the common factors and the specific returns to other assets. It is also called the idiosyncratic return.
Specific risk
See: Unique risk
A dealer doing business with retail but concentrating more on acquiring and financing its own speculative positions.
Purchasing risky investments that present the possibility of large profits, but also pose a higher-than-average possibility of loss. A profitable strategy over the long term if undertaken by professionals who hedge their portfolios to control the amount of risk.
Securities that involve a high level of risk.
Speculative demand (for money)
The need for cash to take advantage of investment opportunities that may arise.
Speculative-grade bond
Bond rated Ba or lower by Moody's, or BB or lower by S&P, or an unrated bond.
Speculative motive
A desire to hold cash in order to be poised to exploit any attractive investment opportunity requiring a cash expenditure that might arise.
Speculative stock
Very risky stock.
One who attempts to anticipate price changes and, through buying and selling contracts, aims to make profits. A speculator does not use the market in connection with the production, processing, marketing, or handling of a product. See: Trader.
Related: Prepayment speed
See: SPDRs
Order ticket that shows the stock, price, number of shares, type, and account of the order. Origin: Practice of placing the ticket on a metal spike upon execution or cancellation.) Spike is also a sudden, drastic increase in a company's share price.
A company can create an independent company from an existing part of the company by selling or distributing new shares in the so-called spin-off.
In investment banking, the practice of an investment bank setting aside portions of a corporation's Initial Public Offering for senior management of that corporation. Ethically questionable practice which appears to be a form of bribery.
Stands for Standard & Poor's 500 Index Subordinated Notes.
Sometimes, companies split their outstanding shares into more shares. If a company with 1 million shares executes a two-for-one split, the company would have 2 million shares. An investor with 100 shares before the split would hold 200 shares after the split. The investor's percentage of equity in the company remains the same, and the share price of the stock owned is one-half the price of the stock on the day prior to the split.
Split commission
A commission shared between a broker and a financial adviser or other professional who brought the customer to the broker.
Split-coupon bond
A bond that begins as a zero-coupon bond paying no interest and converts to an interest paying bond on a future date.
Split-fee option
An option on an option. The buyer generally executes the split fee with first an initial fee, with a window period at the end of which (upon payment of a second fee) the original terms of the option may be extended to a later predetermined final notification date.
Split offering
A municipal bond issue that is made up of serial bonds and term maturity bonds.
Split order
A large securities transaction that is divided into smaller orders that are spread out over some period of time to avoid large fluctuations in the market price.
Split print
Block trade printed at two different prices. Often used in dividend rolls to get an average price equal to the dividend.
Split-rate tax system
A tax system that taxes retained earnings at a higher rate than earnings that are distributed as dividends.
Split rating
Two different ratings given to the same security by two important rating agencies.
Split stock
(1) Purchases or sales shared with others. (2) Division of the outstanding shares of a corporation into a large number of shares. Ordinarily, splits must be proposed by directors and approved by shareholders.
Spoken for
Amount of opposite demand (placement) or supply (availability) the trader has in efforts to cross the stock. Not open.
An underwriting investment company that offers shares in its mutual funds, or an influential institution that highly values a particular security and thus creates additional demand for the security.
Spontaneous Current Liabilities
Short-term obligations that automatically increase and decrease in response to financing needs, such as accounts payable.
Spontaneous Liabilities
Obligations that arise automatically in the course of operating a business when a firm buys goods and services on credit.
Spot commodity
A commodity that is traded with the expectation of actual delivery, as opposed to a commodity future that is usually not delivered.
Spot exchange rates
Exchange rate on currency for immediate delivery. Related: Forward exchange rate.
Spot futures parity theorem
Describes the theoretically correct relationship between spot and futures prices. Violation of the parity relationship gives rise to arbitrage opportunities.
Spot interest rate
Interest rate fixed today on a loan that is made today. Related: Forward interest rates.
Spot lending
Originating mortgages by processing applications taken directly from prospective borrowers.
Spot markets
Related: Cash markets
Spot month
The nearest delivery month on a futures contract.
Spot price
The current market price of the actual physical commodity. Also called cash price. Current delivery price of a commodity traded in the spot market, in which goods are sold for cash and delivered immediately. Antithesis of futures price.
Spot rate
The theoretical yield on a zero-coupon Treasury security.
Spot rate curve
The graphical depiction of the relationship between the spot rates and maturity.
Spot secondary
Secondary distribution that may not require an SEC registration statement and may be attempted without delay. An underwriting discount is normally included in these offerings.
Spot trade
The purchase and sale of a foreign currency, commodity, or other item for immediate delivery.
Spot transaction
A foregin exchange transaction in which each party promises to pay a certain amount of currency to the other on the same day or within one or two days.
Spousal IRA
An individual retirement account in the name of an unemployed spouse.
Spousal remainder trust
A fixed-term trust from which income is distributed to the beneficiary (such as a child of the grantor) to take advantage of a lower tax bracket, and that at the end of the term passes to the grantor's spouse.
(1) The gap between bid and ask prices of a stock or other security. (2) The simultaneous purchase and sale of separate futures or options contracts for the same commodity for delivery in different months. Also known as a straddle. (3) Difference between the price at which an underwriter buys an issue from a firm and the price at which the underwriter sells it to the public. (4) The price an issuer pays above a benchmark fixed-income yield to borrow money.
Spread income
Also called margin income, the difference between income and cost. For a depository institution, the difference between the assets it invests in (loans and securities) and the cost of its funds (deposits and other sources).
Spread option
A position consisting of the purchase of one option and the sale of another option on the same underlying security with a different exercise price and/or expiration date.
Spread order
An order listing the series of options that the customer wants to buy and sell and the desired spread between the premiums paid and received for the options.
Spread position
The status of an account after a spread order has been carried out.
Spread strategy
A strategy that involves a position in one or more options so that the cost of buying an option is funded entirely or in part by selling another option in the same underlying. Also called spreading.
A computer program that organizes numerical data into rows and columns in order to calculate and make adjustments based on new data.
Sprinkling trust
A trust in which the trustee decides how to distribute trust income among a group of designated people.
Applies to derivative products. Symbol for the S&P 500 index.
Period when stocks or commodities futures increase in price and investors who have sold short must cover their short positions to prevent loss of large amounts of money.
Securities sales speaker box that transmits to all investment banks' regional trading and sales desks.
The action undertakes a country when it buys and sells its own currency to protect its exchange value.
Actions registered competitive traders undertake by on the NYSE to meet the exchange requirement that 75% of their traded be stabilizing, meaning that sell orders follow a plus tick and buy orders a minus tick.
Actions a managing underwriter undertake so that the market price does not fall below the public offering price during the offering period
Stable Paretian, or Fractal Hypothesis
In the characteristic function of the fractal family of distributions, the characteristic exponent alpha can range between one and two. See: Alpha, Fractal Distributions, Gaussian.
The relative steadiness or safety of a security or fund compared to the market as a whole. For example, money market funds and other short-term investments offer more stability than funds that invest in growth stocks.
Speculator who buys and sells stocks to hold for short intervals to make quick profits.
A period of slow economic growth and high unemployment with rising prices (inflation).
Staggered board of directors
Occurs when a portion of directors are elected periodically, instead of all at once. Board terms are often staggered in order to thwart unfriendly takeover attempts, since potential acquirers would have to wait longer before they could take control of a company's board through the normal voting procedure.
Staggering maturities
Hedging against interest rate movements by investment in short-, medium-, and long-term bonds.
A period of slow economic growth, or, in securities trading, a period of inactive trading.
All parties that have an interest, financial or otherwise, in a firm-stockholders, creditors, bondholders, employees, customers, management, the community, and the government.
Stalking horse
In bankruptcy proceedings, this refers to the company that first bids for the companies assets.
Stalking horse bid
In bankruptcy proceedings, this refers to first bid for the companies assets. This is the bid to beat. If there are multiple bids, often there is a bankruptcy auction.
Stamp duty
Applies mainly to international equities. Taxes on foreign transactions, usually a percentage of total transaction amount, that can be unilateral or bilateral in nature.
Stamp tax
Tax on a financial transaction.
Stand-alone principle
Investment approach that advocates a firm should accept or reject a project by comparing it with securities in the same risk class.
Standby Letter of Credit
Documents evidencing failure of the bank's customer (the applicant) to pay an obligation when due.
Stand up to
Make a good-sized market in the trader's own bid and offering prices. Hence, "standing up" to the bid signifies the trader's willingness to buy size (i.e., 50m) volume at the advertised bid, even if the customer buyer/seller falls down.
Standard deduction
The IRS-specified amount by which a taxpayer is entitled to reduce income an alternative to itemizing deductions.
Standard deviation
The square root of the variance. A measure of dispersion of a set of data from its mean.
Standard error
In statistics, a measure of the possible error in an estimate. Plus or minus 2 standard errors usually provides a 95% confidence interval.
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)
A code system that designates a unique business activity classified by industry.
Standard & Poor's MidCap 400 Index
A market capitalization-weighted benchmark index made up of 400 securities with market values between $200 million and $5 billion.
Standard & Poor's SmallCap 600 Index
A small-capitalization benchmark index made up of 600 domestic stocks chosen for market size, liquidity, and industry group representation.
Standardized normal distribution
A normal distribution with a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1.
Standardized value
Also called the normal deviate, the distance of one data point from the mean, divided by the standard deviation of the distribution.
Standby agreement
In a rights issue, agreement that the underwriter will purchase any stock not purchased by investors.
Standby commitment
An agreement between a corporation and investment firm that the firm will purchase whatever part of a stock issue that is offered in a rights offering that is not subscribed to in the two- to four- week standby period.
Standby fee
Amount paid to an underwriter who agrees to purchase any stock that is not purchased by public investors in a rights offering.
Standby letter of credit
Agreement to guarantee invoice payments to a supplier; a standby LOC promises to pay the seller if the buyer fails to pay.
Level of priority in the trading crowd.
Standstill agreement
Contract by which the bidding firm in a takeover attempt agrees to limit its holdings of another firm.
The earliest stage of a new business venture.
State bank
A bank authorized in a specific state by a state-based charter, with generally the same functions as a national bank.
State and local government series (SLUGs)
Special nonmarketable certificates, notes, and bonds offered to state and local governments as a means to invest proceeds from their own tax-exempt financing. Interest rates and maturities comply with IRS arbitrage provisions. Slugs are offered in both time deposit and demand deposit forms. Time deposit certificates have maturities of up to one year. Notes mature in one to ten years and bonds mature in more than ten years. Demand deposit securities are one-day certificates rolled over with a rate adjustment daily.
State tax-exempt income fund
A mutual fund that seeks current income exempt from federal and a specific state's income taxes.
Stated annual interest rate
The interest rate expressed as a per year percentage, by which interest payments are determined. See: Annual percentage rate.
Stated conversion price
At the time of issuance of a convertible security, the price the issuer effectively grants the securityholder to purchase the common stock, equal to the par value of the convertible security divided by the conversion ratio.
Stated maturity
For the CMO tranche, the date the last payment would occur at zero CPR.
Stated value
A monetary worth figure that bears no relation to market value that is assigned, for accounting purposes, to stock for use instead of par value.
Statement of Additional Information (SAI)
A document provided as a supplement to a mutual fund prospectus. It provides more detailed information about fund policies, operations, and risks. Also known as a Part B prospectus.
Statement billing
Billing method in which the sales for a period such as a month (for which a customer also receives invoices) are collected into a single statement, and the customer must pay all the invoices represented on the statement.
Statement of Cash Flows
A financial statement showing a firm's cash receipts and cash payments during a specified period.
Statement-of-Cash-Flows Method
A method of cash budgeting that is organized along the lines of the statement of cash flows.
Statement of condition
A document describing the status of assets, liabilities, and equity of a person or business at a particular time.
Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 8
The is a currency translation standard once used by U.S. accounting firms. See: Statement of Accounting Standards No. 52.
Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 52
The currency translation standard currently used by US firms. It mandates the use of the current rate method. See: Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 8.
"Static" Return
The return that an investor would make on a particular position if the underlying stock were unchanged in price at the expiration of the options in the position.
Static theory of capital structure
Theory that the firm's capital structure is determined by a trade-off of the value of tax shields against the costs of bankruptcy.
Stationary time series
A longitudinal measure in which the process generating returns is identical over time.
Statistical Arbitrage
In the context of hedge funds, a style of management that employs complex statistical models that try to capture small abnormalities in a security's intraday return.
Statistical tracking error
Used in the context of general equities. Standard deviation of the difference between the portfolio return and the desired investment benchmark return.
Statutory debt limit
The cap that Congress imposes on the amount of public debt that may be outstanding whether temporary or permanent. When this limit is reached, the Treasury may not sell new debt issues until Congress raises the limit. For a detailed listing of changes in the limit since 1941, see Budget of the United States Government. See: Debt outstanding subject to limitation.
Statutory investment
An investment that a trustee is authorized to make under state law.
Statutory merger
A merger in which one corporation remains as a legal entity, instead of a new legal entity being formed.
Statutory surplus
The surplus of an insurance company determined by the accounting treatment of both assets and liabilities as established by state statutes.
Statutory voting
The standard rule in most corporations that there is one vote per share in elections of the board of directors.
Staying power
The ability of an investor to stay in the market and not to sell out of a position when an investment has fallen in value.
Steady state
As an MBS pool ages, or four to six months after component mortgages have passed at least once the threshold for refinancing, the prepayment speed tends to stabilize within a fairly steady range.
1/16 (0.0625) of one full point in price. Often used in negotiations to compromise an eighth difference, and in options trading.
Steepening of the yield curve
A change in the yield curve where the spread between the yield on a long-term and short-term Treasury has increased. Compare flattening of the yield curve and butterfly shift.
Step aside
Allow a block to trade at a price at which you do not care to participate in the trade.
Step-down note
A floating-rate note whose interest rate declines after a specified period of time.
Step up
To increase, as in step up the tax basis of an asset.
Step-up bond
A bond that pays a lower coupon rate for an initial period, and then increases to a higher coupon rate. Related: Deferred-interest bond, payment-in-kind bond.
Step-up swap
An interest rate swap on which the notional principal increases according to a predetermined schedule.
Sterilized intervention
Foreign exchange market activity by which monetary authorities insulate their domestic money supplies from the foreign exchange transactions with offsetting sales or purchases of domestic assets.
Sticky deal
A new securities issue that may be difficult to sell because of problems in the market or underlying problems with the corporation.
Stochastic models
Liability-matching models that assume that the liability payments and the asset cash flows are uncertain. Related: Deterministic models.
Stochastics index
A computerized tool measuring overbought and oversold conditions in a stock over a certain period.
Ownership of a corporation indicated by shares, which represent a piece of the corporation's assets and earnings.
Stock ahead
When two or more orders for a stock at a certain price arrive about the same time, and the exchange's priority rules take effect. NYSE rules stipulate that the bid made first should be executed first, or, if two bids come in at once, the bid for the larger number of shares receives priority. The bid that is not executed is then turned to the broker, who informs the customer that the trade was not completed because there was "stock ahead.".
Stock bonus plan
A plan used as an incentive that rewards employee performance with stock in the company.
See: Registered representative
Stock Appreciation Right (SAR)
A contractual right, often granted in tandem with an option that allows an individual to receive cash or stock of a value equal to the appreciation of the stock from the grant date to the date the SAR is exercised.
Stock buyback
A corporation's purchase of its own outstanding stock, usually in order to raise the company's earnings per share.
Stock certificate
A document representing the number of shares of a corporation owned by a shareholder.
Stock dividend
Payment of a corporate dividend in the form of stock rather than cash. The stock dividend may be additional shares in the company, or it may be shares in a subsidiary being spun off to shareholders. Stock dividends are often used to conserve cash needed to operate the business. Unlike a cash dividend, stock dividends are not taxed until sold.
Stock Exchange Automated Quotation System (SEAQ)
London's Nasdaq system.
Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK)
Only stock exchange located in Hong Kong.
Stock Exchange, Mumbai (BSE)
Formerly the Bombay stock exchange, the BSE accounts for more than one-third of Indian trading volume.
Stock Exchange of Singapore (SES)
The only stock exchange in Singapore.
Stock Exchange of Thailand
The major securities market of Thailand.
Stock exchanges
Formal organizations, approved and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), that are made up of members who use the facilities to exchange certain common stocks. The two major national stock exchanges are the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the American Stock Exchange (ASE or AMEX). Five regional stock exchanges include the Midwest, Pacific, Philadelphia, Boston, and Cincinnati. The Arizona Stock Exchange is an after-hours electronic marketplace where anonymous participants trade stocks via personal computers.
Stock index
Index like the Dow Jones Industrial Average that tracks a portfolio of stocks.
Stock Index Future
A security that uses composite stock indexes to allow investors to speculate on the performance of the entire market, or to hedge against losses in long or short positions. The settlement of the contracts is in cash.
Stock index option
An option in which the underlying is a common stock index.
Stock index swap
A swap involving a stock index. The other asset involved in a stock index swap can be another stock index (a stock-for-stock swap), a debt index (a debt-for-stock swap), or any other financial asset or financial price index.
Stock insurance company
An insurance company owned by a group of stockholders, who are not necessarily policyholders.
Stock jockey
A stock broker who frequently buys and sells shares in a client's portfolios.
Stock list
The department within a stock exchange that oversees compliance with listing requirements and exchange regulations.
Stock market
Also called the equity market, the market for trading equities.
Stock option
An option whose underlying asset is the common stock of a corporation.
Stock power
A power of attorney form giving ownership of a security to another person, brokerage firm, bank, or lender after it has been sold or pledged to that party.
Stock purchase plan
A plan allowing employees of a company to purchase shares of the company, often at a discount or with matching employer funds.
Stock rating
An evaluation by a rating agency of the expected financial performance or inherent risk of common stocks.
Stock record
The accounting a brokerage firm keeps of all securities held in inventory.
Stock replacement strategy
A strategy for enhancing a portfolio's return, used when the futures contract is expensive according to its theoretical price. The strategy involves a swap between the futures and a Treasury bill and stock portfolio.
Stock repurchase
A firm's repurchase of outstanding shares of its common stock.
Stock right
Another terminology for a stock option.
Stock selection
An active portfolio management technique that focuses on advantageous selection of particular stock rather than on broad asset allocation choices.
Stock split
Occurs when a firm issues new shares of stock and in turn lowers the current market price of its stock to a level that is proportionate to pre-split prices. For example, if IBM trades at $100 before a two-for-one split, after the split it will trade at $50, and holders of the stock will have twice as many shares as they had before the split. See: Split.
Stock symbol
See: Ticker symbol
Stock ticker
A letter designation assigned to securities and mutual funds that trade on US financial exchanges.
A stock surveillance program offered by proxy solicitation firms, and selected transfer agents, to track and monitor sales and purchases of a corporation's shares and provide valuable information at the beneficial owner level.
Stock watcher (NYSE)
A computerized service that monitors and investigates trading activity on the NYSE in order to identify any unusual activity or security movement that might be caused by rumors or illegal activities.
See: Shareholder.
Stockholder books
Set of books kept by firm management for its annual report that follows Financial Accounting Standards Board rules. The tax books follow IRS tax rules.
Stockholder equity
Balance sheet item that includes the book value of ownership in the corporation. It includes capital stock, paid-in surplus, and retained earnings.
Stockholder of record
Stockholder whose name is registered on the books of a corporation and thus will receive dividends from the corporation.
Stockholder's equity
The residual claims that stockholders have against a firm's assets, calculated by subtracting all current liabilities and debt liabilities from total assets.
Stockholder's report
The annual report and other reports given to stockholders to inform them of the company's financial standing and developments.
Stockholm Stock Market (Stockholm B&#ouml;rsen)
The major securities market of Sweden.
Running out of inventory.
Stop basis
Refers to over-the-counter trading. Method of entering an OTC trade into the trader's position without reporting the trade on the OTC tape.
Stop-limit order
A stop order that designates a price limit. Unlike the stop order, which becomes a market order once the stop is reached, the stop-limit order becomes a limit order.
Stop-loss order
An order to unwind a position when the price moves against you. For example, you had purchased a stock, the stop-loss order would be to sell the stock when the price falls to a specified level. If you were short the asset, the stop-loss would trigger a purchase.
Stop order (or stop)
An order to buy or sell at the market when a definite price is reached, either above (on a buy) or below (on a sell) the price that prevailed when the order was given.
Stop-out price
The lowest auction price at which Treasury bills are sold.
Stop payment
An order given a depository institution not to pay out cash for a check; often used when the check has been stolen or lost.
Stop Transfer
A block placed against a security reported lost or stolen (an adverse claim), so it cannot be transferred.
Guaranteed a specific price on the customer's working order while the dealer tries to obtain a better one. Stopped against one's self involves a customer order and a firm's own account, not two customers. One can cancel an order even after being stopped by another party.
Stopped out
A purchase or sale that is executed under a stop order at the stop price specified by the customer.
Stopping curve
A curve showing the refunding rates for different times at which the expected value of refunding immediately equals the expected value of waiting to refund.
Stopping curve refunding rate
A refunding rate that falls on the stopping curve.
Story stock/bond
A highly complex security that requires a long "story" so that investors may understand the corporation and be persuaded of its merits.
Purchase or sale of an equal number of puts and calls with the same terms at the same time. Related: Spread.
Direct telephone line, compared to an outside line that requires a telephone number to be dialed.
Straight Bill of Lading
A bill of lading that is cosigned to a specific party and is therefore non negotiable.
Straight Discount
The rate applied to the face value of the promissory note to calculate present value without compounding. For example, a note with a face value in three years of 100, with a straight discount of 10% per annum has a present value of 70.
Straight-line depreciation
Amortizing or apportioning an equal dollar amount of depreciation in each accounting period.
Straight term insurance policy
Term life insurance policy providing a fixed-amount death benefit over a certain number of years.
Straight value
Also called investment value, the value of a convertible security without the conversion option.
Straight voting
Allows shareholder to cast all of the shareholder's votes for each candidate for the board of directors.
Strange Attractor
An attractor in phase space, where the points never repeat themselves, and orbits never intersect, but they stay within the same region of phase space. Unlike limit cycles or point attractors, strange attractors are non-periodic, and generally have a fractal dimension. They are a picture of a non-linear, chaotic system. See: Attractor, Chaos, Limit Cycle, Point Attractor.
Buying or selling an out-of-the-money put option and call option on the same underlying instrument, with the same expiration. Profits are made only if there is a drastic change in the underlying instrument's price.
Strategic alliance
Collaboration between two or more companies designed to achieve some corporate objective. May include international licensing agreements, management contracts, or joint ventures.
Strategic buyout
Acquisition of another firm in order to realize some operational benefits which will result in increased earnings.
The general or specific approach to investing that an individual, institution, or fund manager employs.
Stratified equity indexing
A method of constructing a replicating portfolio that classifies the stocks in the index into strata, and represents each stratum in the portfolio.
Stratified sampling approach to indexing
Dividing an index into cells, each representing a different characteristic of the index, such as duration or maturity.
Stratified sampling bond indexing
A method of bond indexing that divides the index into cells, each cell representing a different characteristic, and that buys bonds to match those characteristics.
(1) Not a member of the participating party in the trade at hand; (2) not a meaningful indication of a customer's desire to take a sizable position or be involved in a stock.
Means Wall Street financial community; brokers, dealers, underwriters, and other knowledgeable participants.
Street name
Registration under which securities maybe held by a broker on behalf of a client but be registered in the name of the Wall Street firm.
Strike index
For a stock index option, the index value at which the buyer of the option can buy or sell the underlying stock index. The strike index is converted to a dollar value by multiplying by the option's contract multiple. Related: Strike price.
Strike price
The stated price per share for which underlying stock may be purchased (in the case of a call) or sold (in the case of a put) by the option holder upon exercise of the option contract.
Striking price
The price at which an option can be exercised. See: Exercise price.
Striking Price Intercal
The distance between striking prices on a particular underlying security. Normally, the interval is 2-1/2 points for stocks under $25, 5 points for stocks selling over $25 per share, and 10 points (or greater) is acceptable for stocks over $200 per share. There are, however, exceptions to this general guideline.
Variant of a straddle. A strip is two puts and one call on a stock. A strap is two calls and one put on a stock. The puts and calls have the same strike price and expiration date. See: Strap.
Strip mortgage participation certificate (strip PC)
Ownership interests in specified mortgages purchased by Freddie Mac from a single seller in exchange for separate instruments representing interests in the same mortgages.
Stripped bond
Bond that can be subdivided into a series of zero-coupon bonds.
Stripped mortgage-backed securities (SMBS)
Securities that redistribute the cash flows from the underlying generic MBS collateral into the principal and interest components of the MBS to enhance their attractiveness to different groups of investors.
Stripped yield
Applies mainly to convertible securities. Return on the debt portion of a bond/warrant unit after subtracting the value of the issued warrant segment.
Strong Currency
A currency whose value compared to other currencies is improving, as indicated by a decrease in the direct exchange rates for the currency.
Strong dollar
When the dollar can be exchanged for a large amount of foreign currency, benefiting travelers but hurting exporters.
Strong-form efficiency
A form of pricing efficiency, that posits that the price of a security reflects all information, whether or not it is publicly available. Related: Weak-form efficiency, semi-strong form efficiency.
Strong form of the EMT
Theory that market prices reflect all relevant publicly and privately available information. Defined by Eugene F. Fama in 1970.
Structural Adjustment Loan Facility (SAL)
World Bank program established in 1980 to enhance a country's long-term economic growth through financing projects.
Structured arbitrage transaction
A self-funding, self-hedged series of transactions that usually use mortgage-backed securities (MBS) as the primary assets.
Structured Asset Trust Unit Repackagings
A synthetic security linked or weak-linked to underlying collateral. Ratings usually reflect the credit quality of the underlying securities.
Structured debt
Debt that has been customized for the buyer, often by incorporating unusual options.
Structured note
A derivative investment that will change in value with movements of an underlying index; or a note whose issuer makes swap arrangements to alter its required cash flows.
Structured portfolio strategy
Designing a portfolio to achieve a level of performance that matches some predetermined liabilities that must be paid out in the future.
Structured settlement
An agreement in settlement of a lawsuit involving specific payments made over a period of time. Property and casualty insurance companies often buy life insurance products to pay the costs of such settlements.
Often used in risk arbitrage. Piece of equity security left over from a major cash or security distribution from a recapitalization.
Student Loan Marketing Association (SLMA)
A publicly traded corporation established by federal action that increases availability of educational loans by guaranteeing student loans traded in the secondary market. Also known as Sallie Mae.
Subchapter M
An IRS regulation dealing with investment companies and real estate investment trusts that avoid double taxation by distributing interest, dividends, and capital gains directly to shareholders, who are taxed individually.
Subchapter S
IRS regulation that gives a corporation with 35 or fewer shareholders the option of being taxed as a partnership to escape corporate income taxes.
Refers to a bid or offer that cannot be executed without confirmation from the customer. In other words, not firm, but a bid/offer that needs additional information/confirmation before becoming firm and is therefore still negotiable.
Subject market
Quote in which prices are subject to confirmation. See: Fast market.
Subject to a (NY) can
Contingent upon trader's ability to cancel an order (on the indicated exchange).
Subject to opinion
An auditor's opinion reflecting acceptance of a company's financial statements subject to pervasive uncertainty that cannot be adequately measured, such as information relating to the value of inventories, reserves for losses, or other matters open to judgment.
Subject to a print/execution/trading
Contingent on execution of a trade because the picture in the stock has not been materially altered.
Subjective probabilities
Probabilities that are determined subjectively (for example, on the basis of judgment rather than statistical sampling).
A claim ranked lower in priority than other claims. Common stock claims are always subordinated to debt.
Subordinated bonds
Securities that fall after others in priority of claims on the entity in the case of financial distress.
Subordinated debenture bond
An unsecured bond that ranks after secured debt, after debenture bonds, and often after some general creditors in its claim on assets and earnings. Related: Debenture bond, mortgage bond, collateral trust bonds.
Subordinated debt
Debt over which senior debt takes priority. In the event of bankruptcy, subordinated debtholders receive payment only after senior debt claims are paid in full.
Subordination clause
A provision in a bond indenture that restricts the issuer's future borrowing by subordinating future lenders' claims on the firm to those of the existing bondholders.
Subpart F
Special category of foreign-source "unearned" income that is currently taxed by the IRS whether or not it is remitted to the US
Subperiod return
The return of a portfolio over a shorter period of time than the evaluation period.
An insurance process whereby a company that has paid out to a policyholder for a loss incurred recovers the amount of the loss from the party that is legally liable.
Agreement to buy new issue of securities.
Subscription agreement
An application reviewed by the general partner to join a limited partnership.
Subscription price
Price that current shareholders pay for a share of stock in a rights offering.
Subscription privilege
The right of current shareholders of a corporation to buy newly issued shares before they are available to the public.
Subscription right
See: Subscription privilege
Subscription warrant
Applies to derivative products. Type of security, usually issued with another security, such as a bond or stock, that entitles the holder to buy a proportionate amount of common stock at a specified price, usually higher than the market price at the time of issuance. Warrant.
A wholly or partially owned company that is part of a large corporation. A foreign subsidiary is a separately incorporated entity under the host country's law. A subsidiary's financial results are carried on the parent company's books.
Subsidized financing
Funding provided by a government or other entity that is available at a below-market interest rate.
Substitute sale
A method for hedging price risk that uses debt market instruments, such as interest rate futures, or that involves selling borrowed securities as the primary assets.
Substitution swap
A swap in which a money manager exchanges one bond for another bond that is similar in terms of coupon, maturity, and credit quality, but that offers a higher yield.
Substantially equal periodic payments (SEPP)
A method of distribution from IRA account assets that under certain conditions is not subject to the IRS's 10% premature withdrawal penalty for those under age 59-1/2.
Success tax
A 15% excise tax on "excess" distributions from tax-deferred retirement plans that was repealed by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. In essence, the tax had penalized "successful" investors who accumulated large retirement accounts and took distributions that exceeded an annual limit deemed excessive by the tax code.
Suicide pill
A hostile takeover prevention tactic that could destroy the target company. Taking on a large amount of debt to prevent the takeover might cause bankruptcy, for example.
A requirement that any investing strategy fall within the financial means and investment objectives of an investor.
Suitability rules
Policies and guidelines that brokers must use to ensure that investors have the financial means to assume risks that they wish to undertake. These are enforced by the NASD and other self-regulatory organizations.
Describing a strategy or trading philosophy in which the investor is operating in accordance with his(her) financial means and investment objectives.
Summary plan description (SPD)
A document that explains the fundamental features of an employer's defined benefit or defined contribution plan, including eligibility requirements, contribution formulas, vesting schedules, benefit calculations, and distribution options. ERISA requires that the SPD be easy to understand and that each participant receive a copy within 90 days of joining the plan.
Sum-of-the-years'-digits depreciation
Method of accelerated depreciation.
Sunk costs
Costs that have been incurred and cannot be reversed.
Sunrise industries
Growth industries in an economy that may become leaders in the market in the future.
Super Bowl indicator
A theory that if a team from the old American Football League pre-1970 wins the Super Bowl, the stock market will decline during the coming year. If a team from the old pre-1990 National Football League wins the Super Bowl, stock prices will increase in the coming year.
Super DOT
Super DOT provides faster execution than regular DOT and focuses on large-size trades and baskets. See: Program trading.
Super Majority
A proposal requiring more than a simple majority of the votes eligible to be cast at an annual or special meeting. A super majority is often a 2/3 (66.66%) vote, but it can be as high as 3/4 (75%) or 4/5 (80%).
Super message
See: Autex
Super sinker bond
Usually a home financing bond, but also any other bond that has long-term coupons but short maturity; the mortgages may be prepaid, and the holders may receive the long-term yield after a short period of time.
Provision in a company's charter requiring a majority of, say, 80% of shareholders to approve certain changes, such as a merger.
Supermajority amendment
Often used in risk arbitrage. Corporate amendment requiring that a substantial majority (usually 67% to 90%) of stockholders approve important transactions, such as mergers.
Supervisory analyst
An analyst who is qualified to approve publicly distributed research reports on the NYSE.
Supervisory board
The board of directors that represents stakeholders in the governance of the corporation.
Supplemental Security Income
A Social Security program established to help the blind, disabled, and poor.
Supplier credit
Self-financing of a supplier's operations.
Supply shock
An event that influences production capacity and costs in an economy.
Supply-side economics
A theory of economics that reductions in tax rates will stimulate investment and in turn will benefit the entire society.
An effective lower bound on prices supported because of many willing buyers at that price level.
Support level
A price level below which it is supposedly difficult for a security or market to fall. That is, the price level at which a security tends to stop falling because there is more demand than supply; can be identified on a technical basis by seeing where the stock has bottomed out in the past.
An additional levy added to some charge.
An individual or corporation that guarantees the performance or actions of another.
Surplus funds
Cash flow available after payment of taxes in a project.
Surplus management
Related: Asset management
A tax added to the normal tax paid by corporations or individuals who have earned income above a certain level.
Surveillance department of exchanges
A department that monitors trading activity on an exchange in order to identify any unusual activity that may indicate illegal practices.
Survivorship bias
Usually pertaining to fund manager or individual investor performance. Suppose we examined the performance over the last ten years of a group of managers that exist today. This performance is biased upwards because we are only considering those that survived for 10 years. That is, some dropped out because of poor performance. Hence, in evaluating performance, one has to be careful to include both the current and the managers that dropped out of the sample due to poor performance.
Sushi bond
A Eurobond issued by a Japanese corporation.
Suspended trading
Temporary halt in trading in a particular security, in advance of a major news announcement or to correct an imbalance of orders to buy and sell.
Suspense account
An account used temporarily to record receipts and disbursements that have yet to be classified.
Sustainable growth rate
Maximum rate of growth a firm can sustain without increasing financial leverage.
An arrangement in which two entities lend to each other on different terms, e.g., in different currencies, and/or at different interest rates, fixed or floating.
Swap arrangements
Short-term reciprocal lines of credit between the Federal Reserve and 14 foreign centeral banks as well as the Bank for International Settlements. Through a swap transaction, the Federal Reserve can, in effect, borrow foreign currency in order to purchase dollars in the foreign exchange market. In doing so, the demand for dollars and the dollar's foreign exchange value are increased. Similarly, the Federal Reserve can temporarily provide dollars to foreign central banks through swap arrangments.
Swap assignment
Related: Swap sale
Swap book
A swap bank's portfolio of swaps, usually arranged by currency and maturity.
Swap buy back
The sale of an interest rate swap by one counterparty to the other, effectively ending the swap.
Swap fund
See: Exchange fund
Swap option
See: Swaption. Related: Quality option.
Swap rate
The difference between spot and forward rates expressed in points, e.g., $0.0001 per pound sterling.
Swap reversal
An interest rate swap designed to end a counterparty's role in another interest rate swap, accomplished by counterbalancing the original swap in maturity, reference rate, and notional amount.
Swap sale
Also called a swap assignment, a transaction that ends one counterparty's role in an interest rate swap by substituting a new counterparty whose credit is acceptable to the other original counterparty.
Options on interest rate swaps. The buyer of a swaption has the right to enter into an interest rate swap agreement by some specified date in the future. The swaption agreement will specify whether the buyer of the swaption will be a fixed-rate receiver or a fixed-rate payer. The writer of the swaption becomes the counterparty to the swap if the buyer exercises.
Sweat equity
An increase in equity created by the labor of the owner.
Sweep account
Account providing that a bank invest all the excess available funds at the close of each business day for the firm.
A feature of a security that makes it more attractive to potential purchasers.
Swingline facility
Bank borrowing facility to provide finance while the firm replaces US commercial paper with eurocommercial paper.
Swiss Electronic Bourse (EBS)
Computer linking system between the former stock exchange trading floors in Zurich, Geneva, and Basel, Switzerland so that trades can be carried out among traders on all three of the trading floors.
Swiss Options and Financial Futures Exchange (SOFFEX)
The Swiss derivatives market with the first fully electronic trading system in the world, now called Eurex Zurich AG.
Swiss Exchange
The major securities market of Switzerland.
Slang for the Swiss franc.
Switch order
Order for the purchase (sale) of one stock and the sale (purchase) of another stock at a stipulated price difference. Contingent order, swap.
Liquidating a position and simultaneously reinstating a position in another futures contract of the same type.
Switching options
A sequence of transactions in which exercise of one option creates one or more additional options. Investment-disinvestment, entry-exit, expansion-contraction, and suspension-reactivation decisions are switching options.
Sydney Futures Exchange (SFE)
The derivatives market of Australia.
Letters used to identify companies on the consolidated tape and other locations.
Symbol book special
Illiquid, inactively traded stock not familiar market
Symmetric cash matching
An extension of cash flow matching that allows for the short-term borrowing of funds to satisfy a liability prior to the liability due date, reducing the cost of funding liabilities.
Synchronous data
Information available at the same time. To test option-pricing models, the price of the option and of the underlying should be synchronous and reflect the same moment in the market.
A group of banks that acts jointly, on a temporary basis, to loan money in a bank credit (syndicated credit) or to underwrite a new issue of bonds.
Syndicate manager
See: Managing underwriter
Syndicated Eurocredit loans
Funding provided by a group (or syndicate) of banks in the Eurocredit market.
Syndicated Loan
A large Eurocurrency loan from a group of international banks.
Synergistic effect
A violation of value-additivity in that the value of a combination is greater than the sum of the individual values.
Describes a combination whose value is greater than the sum of the separate individual parts.
Synthetic convertible
Combination of usable bonds and warrants (that expire on or after the bonds' maturity) that resembles convertible bond.
Synthetic forward position
A forward position constructed through borrowing in one currency, lending in another currency, and offsetting these transactions in the spot exchange market.
Synthetic Lease
When a company creates a special-purpose entity to arrange for a loan to purchase property, and then leases the property from the entity.The synthetic lease therefore keeps the loan off the company's balance sheet, while the company provides enough income to the special-purpose entity to cover the interest rate on the loan.
Synthetic put
A strategy equivalent in risk to purchasing a put option where an investor sells stock short and buys a call.
Synthetic stock
An option strategy that is equivalent to the underlying stock. A long call and a short put is synthetic long stock. A long put and a short call is sythetic short stock.
Customized hybrid instruments created by blending an underlying price on a cash instrument with the price of a derivative instrument. It is a combination of security holdings that mimics the price movement of another single security (i.e., synthetic call: long position in a stock combined with a put on that position; a protected long sale; synthetic put: short position in a stock combined with a call on that position; a protected short sale).
System Noise
See: Dynamical Noise
Common to all businesses.
Systematic investment plan
An approach involving regular investments in order to take advantage of dollar-cost averaging.
Systematic Return
The part of the return dependent on the benchmark return. We can break excess returns into two components: systematic and residual. The systematic return is the beta times the benchmark excess return.
Systematic risk
Also called undiversifiable risk or market risk.
Systematic risk principle
Only the systematic portion of risk matters in large, well-diversified portfolios. Thus, expected returns must be related only to systematic risks.
Systematic withdrawal plan
A provision of certain mutual funds to pay out to the shareholder specified amounts after specified periods of time.
Systemic Risk
Risk common to a particular sector or country. Often refers to a risk resulting from a particular "system" that is in place, such as the regulator framework for monitoring of financial institutions.

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Copyright © 2002, Campbell R. Harvey. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. Do not reproduce without explicit permission.

[Version December 12, 2002.]

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