Electronic Communication Network (ECN)
Any one of several computer-based order matching systems that provides investors with direct access to the market, bypassing the middleman (broker) for order placement. With ECN access, investors can see quotes for the best bid and best ask and enter orders directly into the system. As a result, the ECN can speed up the order entry and execution process as well as making it possible for investors to participate in extended trading hours. Each brokerage firm is free to decide which ECN it chooses to include in its order flow system and how much access to the ECN it will provide to its customers.
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market center
direct access trading (DAT)
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