Market Orders

A Market order is an order to buy or sell at the market bid or offer price. A market order may increase the likelihood of a fill and the speed of execution, but unlike the Limit order a Market order provides no price protection and may fill at a price far lower/higher than the current displayed bid/ask.


The Reference Table to the upper right provides a general summary of the order type characteristics. The checked features are applicable in some combination, but do not necessarily work in conjunction with all other checked features. For example, if Options and Stocks, US and Non-US, and Smart and Directed are all checked, it does not follow that all US and Non-US Smart and direct-routed stocks support the order type. It may be the case that only Smart-routed US Stocks, direct-routed Non-US stocks and Smart-routed US Options are supported.

Products Availability Routing TWS
Bonds US Products Smart Attribute
CFDs Non-US Products Directed Order Type
EFPs Time in Force
View Supported Exchanges|Open Users' Guide

Create Market Orders Short Video

Using TWS Mosaic
Using Classic TWS

Mosaic Example

Enter the desired ticker symbol and click on the appropriate action to BUY or SELL for your Market order. Note that when SELL is selected the Order Entry background becomes red, while for BUY orders the background changes to blue. Next, enter the number of shares you want to trade. IN this example, since we have an existing position of 11,500 shares in ticker VTI and want to close it out at the prevailing market price, we can simply click on the Position button, which will flow through to the Quantity field. Select MKT from the Order Type dropdown menu. In the case of orders to SELL, by hitting the Submit button, your order will be SMART routed across all available exchanges to locate the most favorable price for your order. SMART is IB's default venue and should you wish to direct your order to a specific exchange, click the Advanced button and select the favored destination.

Action SELL
Qty 11,500
Order Type MKT
Market Price 109.03
Limit Price MKT
Time in Force DAY
Mosaic Market Order

Classic TWS Example

Symbol XYZ is currently trading at $33.96 - $34.00. You want to buy 300 shares of XYZ right away regardless of price. Create a BUY order, then select MKT in the Type field to specify a market order. Use SMART as the order destination to help ensure best price execution. The word MARKET appears in the Lmt Price field to show that you are willing to buy at the current market price. Submit the order, which is filled at the prevailing market price.

Market Orders example

Important Characteristics and Risks of Using Market Orders

A Market Order is an instruction to execute your order at any price available in the market. A Market Order is not guaranteed a specific execution price and may execute at an undesirable price. If you would like greater control over the execution prices you receive, please submit your order using a Limit Order, which is an instruction to execute your order at or better than the specified limit price.


IB typically simulates market orders on exchanges. For details on market order handling using simulated orders, click here.


Any stock or option symbols displayed are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to portray a recommendation.