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Zero Plus Tick


A Zero Plus Tick, also known as an uptick trade or a zero uptick, is a financial term that refers to a trade executed at the same price as the previous trade but higher than the trade prior to that. This typically occurs in stock trading when short selling rules are enforced. Zero Plus Tick ensures that the current transaction does not exacerbate a security’s declining price and prevents market manipulation through short selling.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Zero Plus Tick” would be: Z – Zulue – Echor – Romeoo – OscarP – Papal – Limau – Uniforms – SierraT – Tangoi – Indiac – Charliek – Kilo

Key Takeaways


  1. Zero plus tick is a securities trading term that involves a transaction occurring at the same price as the previous trade but with an upward trend. This generally reflects a more positive market sentiment.
  2. Zero plus ticks are closely related to the uptick rule that prevents short-sellers from initiating a short sale on a downtick, thus promoting market stability by restricting drastic price movements.
  3. Successive zero plus ticks demonstrate buying pressure, which can impact a security’s price trend. Monitoring zero plus ticks can provide valuable information regarding market trends and investors’ sentiment for making trading decisions.


The Zero Plus Tick is an important business/finance term because it refers to a securities transaction executed at the same price as the preceding trade, but at a higher price than the last trade of a different price. This concept holds significance primarily in the context of short selling, as it helps mitigate downward pressure on a stock’s price and minimize potential market manipulation. In some countries, regulators, like the SEC in the United States, enforce the uptick rule that prevents investors from short selling a security unless the last trade was a zero plus tick or on an uptick. By mandating this rule, regulators aim to maintain market stability, reduce volatility, and prevent potential “bear raids” wherein short-sellers aggressively sell stocks to drive down prices for personal gains.


Zero Plus Tick is an essential concept in finance and business, particularly regarding securities trading. It serves the important purpose of regulating the buying and selling of short-sold securities, which are instruments that traders use to bet against a stock’s value. The primary objective of a Zero Plus Tick is to prevent short sellers from excessively contributing to a stock’s price decline, exacerbating the fall, and potentially causing a domino effect on investor confidence. By mandating that short sales can only take place on a Zero Plus Tick, regulators ensure that the downward price pressure exerted by short sellers is somewhat controlled, thereby promoting market stability and maintaining a level playing field for all investors. In practice, a Zero Plus Tick occurs when the previous trade occurs at a higher price compared to the preceding trade. In essence, the rule implies that a short sale should only be executed if the previous trade was conducted at a higher price or if the price remained unchanged compared to the previous transaction. As a result, the Zero Plus Tick rule establishes a positive or neutral requirement for short selling activities. This mechanism acts as a counterbalance, protecting the market from predatory short selling practices that could otherwise unnecessarily drive down prices and create artificial market volatility. Consequently, the Zero Plus Tick plays a crucial role in preserving the financial system’s integrity and enhancing investor confidence, ensuring market participants can operate in a transparent and efficient environment.


A zero plus tick, also known as an uptick trade, occurs when a financial security’s trade price is the same as the preceding trade but higher than the one prior to that. It is typically used in short selling of stocks and helps to prevent downward manipulation of a stock’s price. Here are three real-world examples of the zero plus tick in action: Example 1:Stock ABC’s recent trades were executed at the following prices: $50, $50.20, $50.20. In this scenario, the third trade at $50.20 is a zero plus tick because it matches the preceding trade price and is higher than the trade before it ($50). If there were any short sellers targeting this stock, they would only be allowed to sell short on this uptick or at higher prices, thereby protecting the stock from undue downward price manipulation. Example 2:Company XYZ has a trading price sequence of $25, $25, $25.10, and $25.10. The fourth trade is an example of a zero plus tick since it is equal to the trade before it and higher than the trade two steps back ($25). This trade restriction helps maintain market stability and limits the occurrence of price manipulation through short selling. Example 3:Suppose the stock of Company DEF is trading with a sequence of $30.50, $30.75, $30.75, $30.70, and $30.70. The third trade ($30.75) acts as a zero plus tick as it matches its previous trade price and is higher than the one prior to that. This zero plus tick would protect Company DEF’s stock from potentially being short sold and artificially pushed downward.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Zero Plus Tick?
A Zero Plus Tick, also known as a Zero Uptick, is a term used in finance and stock trading that refers to a security being traded at the same price as the previous trade but higher than the trade before that one. It indicates a slight positive momentum in the trading activity for that security.
What is the significance of a Zero Plus Tick?
The significance of a Zero Plus Tick is that it signals a potential shift in market sentiment or momentum towards a more favorable or positive direction. This might attract more buyers, increasing demand, and eventually causing the price of the security to rise.
How is a Zero Plus Tick different from an Uptick or Downtick?
An Uptick occurs when a security is traded at a higher price than its previous trade, while a Downtick refers to a security being traded at a lower price than the previous trade. A Zero Plus Tick represents a middle ground – it shows that the security is being traded at the same price as the previous trade but still with a slight positive momentum compared to the trade before the last one.
What is the importance of Zero Plus Tick in short selling?
In the context of short selling, the Zero Plus Tick rule, also known as the “Uptick rule,” was a regulation enforced by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that restricted short-selling a stock unless the last trade price movement was positive. This rule aimed to prevent potential market manipulation by short sellers and reduce steep market declines, commonly known as “bear raids.” However, the rule was eliminated in 2007, and short-selling can now occur irrespective of the previous trade’s tick direction.
How can traders use Zero Plus Tick data for their trading strategy?
Zero Plus Tick data can be useful for traders looking to identify potential shifts in market sentiment or momentum before taking a position in a security. By analyzing upticks, downticks, and zero plus ticks, a trader can gauge the direction the market is leaning towards and make more informed decisions on whether to buy, sell, or hold a security.
How can I identify a Zero Plus Tick?
A Zero Plus Tick can be identified by comparing the trade prices of the last three consecutive trades. If the middle trade price is the same as the most recent trade price but higher than the first trade price, it is considered a Zero Plus Tick. Most stock market platforms and financial software display tick data, making it easy for traders to access and analyze this information.

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