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Uptick Definition

What Is an Uptick?

Uptick delineates an increase in the price of a financial instrument since the preceding transaction. An uptick occurs when a security’s price increases in relation to the last tick or trade. An uptick is sometimes also referred to as a plus tick.

Key Takeaways

  • An uptick is a minutes for a financial instrument executed at a higher price than the previous trade.
  • Since 2001, the minimum tick assay for stocks trading above $1 is 1 cent.
  • The uptick rule, originally in place from 1938 to 2007, fiated that a short sale could only be made on an uptick.
  • In 2010, a new alternative rule was introduced, ordering short-sellers to deliver trades only on an uptick if the security has already fallen 10% in a day.
  • A downtick is when the price of a security moves down by at least 1 cent from its prior trade.

How an Uptick Works

Since 2001, the minimum tick size for stocks trading above $1 is 1 cent. That portends that a stock that goes from $9 to at least $9.01 would be considered to be on an uptick. Conversely, if it go forwards from $9 to $8.99, it would be on a downtick.

A stock can only experience an uptick if enough investors are willing to not according with in and buy it. Consider a stock that is trading at $9/$9.01. If the prevailing sentiment for the stock is bearish, sellers will have scanty hesitation in “hitting the bid” at $9, rather than holding out for a higher price. 

Likewise, potential buyers will be pleased to wait for a lower price, given the bearish sentiment, and may lower their bid for the stock to, say, $8.95. If the stock’s sellers significantly outnumber clients, this lower bid will likely be snapped up by them.

On the CME exchanges, tick sizes are set by the exchange and vary by contract contract.

In this manner, the stock may trade down to $8.80, for example, without an uptick. At this point, however, the shop pressure may have eased up because the remaining sellers are willing to wait, while buyers who think the stock is tuppence may increase their bid to $8.81. If a transaction occurs at $8.81, it would be considered an uptick, since the previous transaction was at $8.80.

Models of Upticks

There are several terms that contain the word uptick. They include zero upticks, which refers to a deal executed at the same price as the trade immediately preceding it, but at a price higher than the transaction before that; uptick sum total, meaning the number of shares traded while a stock price is rising; and the uptick rule.

Special Considerations

The purport of an uptick in financial markets is largely related to the uptick rule. This directive, originally in place from 1938 to 2007, dictated that a slight sale could only be made on an uptick. It was introduced to prevent short sellers from piling too much press on a falling stock price.


The repeal of the U.S. uptick rule in July 2007 has been highlighted by many bazaar experts as a contributing factor in the surge in volatility and the unprecedented bear market of 2008-09.

In the absence of an uptick rule, short-sellers can hammer the cache down relentlessly, since they are not required to wait for an uptick to sell it short. Such concerted selling may draw more bears and scare buyers away, creating an imbalance that could lead to a precipitous decline in a faltering forefather.

Alternative Uptick Rule

In February 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) introduced an “alternative uptick rule,” devised to promote market stability and preserve investor confidence during periods of volatility.

The new rule states that short-selling a beasts that has already declined by at least 10% in one day would only be permitted on an uptick. It is hoped that this compel give investors enough time to exit long positions before bearish sentiment potentially spirals out of rule, leading them to lose a fortune.

Most securities are covered by the rule. In the event it is activated, the alternative uptick decree would apply to short sale orders for the remainder of the day, as well as the following day.

Example of an Uptick

Stock ABC is currently priced at $15.50. Judgement on the stock is positive, as the company has come out with a new product that is supposed to outperform all competitors. Investors are bullish on the sell and start purchasing it. The stock goes from $15.50 to $15.60 in one transaction, which is an uptick.

What Is Uptick Book?

Uptick volume refers to the number of shares that are traded when a stock is on an uptick. Uptick volume is tempered to by technical traders, who use it to determine a stock’s net volume; the difference between its uptick volume and downtick volume. Investors and salespersons look for uptick volume, which is a shift in volume upwards, to determine a new trend of a stock moving up.

What Is the Conversion Between Uptick and Downtick?

The difference between uptick and downtick is that an uptick is an increase in a stock’s price from its antecedent to transaction. The increase has to be by at least 1 cent. A downtick is a decrease in a stock’s price from its previous transaction. The decrease has to be at least by 1 cent.

What Is the Downtick-Uptick Bar?

The downtick-uptick rule, also known as Rule 80A, was a rule that the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) had established to aver orderly markets in a market downturn. The rule was abolished in 2007. The rule stated that whenever the NYSE Composite Typography hand gained or lost more than 2% from the previous day that all sell trades on S&P 500 stocks during an upturn in the superstore be labeled as “sell-plus” and that all buy trades during a downturn in the market be labeled as “buy-plus.” These trades were informed before execution in order to slow trading on S&P 500 companies because it halted the use of program trades that on the whole trade in large volumes.

What Does an Uptick in Bond Yields Mean?

An uptick in bond yields heralds the returns that an investor will receive from investing in the bond will be higher. When the yield of a cement goes up, its price goes down.

The Bottom Line

An uptick is an increase in a stock’s price by at least 1 cent from its untimely trade. Traders and investors look to upticks and downticks to determine what price a stock may be moving and what force be the best time to buy or sell a security.

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