Financial Glossary

D

D
Fifth letter of a NASDAQ stock symbol specifying that it is a new issue, such as the result of a reverse split.
DCF
See: Discounted Cash Flows
DDM
The ISO 4217 currency code for East Germany Ostmark.
DE
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for GERMANY.
DEM
The ISO 4217 currency code for Deutschemark.
DDM
See: Discounted Dividend Model
DISC
See: Domestic International Sales Corporation
DJ
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for DJIBOUTI.
DJF
The ISO 4217 currency code for Djibouti Franc.
DK
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for DENMARK.
DKK
The ISO 4217 currency code for Danish Krone.
DM
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for DOMINICA.
DNR Order
See: Do Not Reduce Order
DO
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
DOP
The ISO 4217 currency code for Dominican Republic Peso.
DOT
See: Designated Order Turnaround System
DRP
See: Dividend Reinvestment Plan
DTC
See: Depository Transfer Check
DTC
See: Depository Trust Company
DZ
The two-character ISO 3166 country code for ALGERIA.
DZD
The ISO 4217 currency code for Algerian Dinar.
Daily price limit
The level at which many commodity, futures, and options markets are allowed to rise or fall in a day. Exchanges usually impose a daily price limit on each contract.
Daisy chain
Manipulation of the market by traders to create the illusion of active volume to attract investors.
Date of issue
Used in the context of bonds to refer to the date on which a bond is issued and when interest accrues to the bondholder. Used in the context of stocks to refer to the date trading begins on a new stock issued to the public.
Date of payment
Date dividend checks are mailed.
Date of record
Date on which holders of record in a firm's stock ledger are designated as the recipients of either dividends or stock rights.
Dated date
The date one uses to calculate accrued interest on various debt instruments, specifically bonds.
Dates convention
Treating cash flows as being received on exact dates-date 0, date 1, and so forth-as opposed to the end-of-year convention.
Dating
Credit extension beyond normal terms of a credit supplier.
Dawn raid
A term of British origin used to describe the purchase of all available shares of a target company at the market's open by a raider. A dawn raid is a surprise technique that allows the raider to gain a substantial share of the target company before the target company knows what is happening
Day around order
A day order that supersedes (cancels and replaces) the previous order by altering its size or price limit.
Day of deposit to day of withdrawal account
A bank account that pays interest according to the number of days that the money is actually on deposit.
Day loan
A loan from a bank to a broker prior to the delivery of securities. Upon the delivery of the securities, a day loan becomes a regular broker call loan for which securities serve as collateral.
Day order
In the context of general equities, request from a customer to either buy or sell stock, that, if not canceled or executed the day it is placed, expires automatically. All orders are day orders unless otherwise specified. Traders often make calls before the opening to check for renewals.
Day trading
Establishing and liquidating the same position or positions within one day's trading.
Days in receivables
Average collection period.
Days' sales in inventory ratio
The average number of days' worth of sales that is held in inventory.
Days' sales outstanding
Average collection period.
De facto
Existing in actual fact although not by official recognition.
Dead cat bounce
A small upmove in a bear market.
Deal flow
In investment banking, the rate at which new deals are referred to a brokerage firm.
Deal stock
Stock subject to merger or acquisition, either publicly announced or rumored.
Dealing desk (Trading desk)
Personnel at an international bank who trade spot and forward foreign exchange.
Dealer
An entity that stands ready and willing to buy a security for its own account (at its bid price) or sell from its own account (at its ask price). Individual or firm acting as a principal in a securities transaction. Principals are market makers in securities, and thus trade for their own account and risk. Antithesis of broker. See: Agency.
Dealer loan
Overnight, collateralized loan from a money market bank made to a dealer financing his position by borrowing.
Dealer market
Where trader's specializing in particular commodities buy and sell assets for their own accounts.
Dealer options
Over-the-counter options, such as those offered by government and mortgage-backed securities dealers.
Dealer's spread
See: markdown; underwriting spread.
Dear money
British term for tight money.
Death-backed bonds
Bonds backed by loans of a policyholder against a life insurance policy. The policyholder will repay the loans while alive or with the benefits from the insurance policy upon death.
Death play
A stock strategy that buys stock on the belief that a key executive will die, the company will be dissolved, and shares will command a higher price at their private market value.
Death Valley Curve
In venture capital, refers to the period before a new company starts generating revenues, when it is difficult for the company to raise money.
Debenture
Any debt obligation backed strictly by the borrower's integrity, e.g. an unsecured bond. A debenture is documented in an indenture.
Debenture bond
An unsecured bond whose holder has the claim of a general creditor on all assets of the issuer not pledged specifically to secure other debt. Compare subordinated debenture bond and collateral trust bonds.
Debenture stock
A type of stock that makes fixed payments at scheduled intervals of time. Debenture stock differs from a debenture in that it has the status of equity, not debt, in liquidation.
Debit balance
The amount that is owed to a broker by a margin customer for loans the customer uses to buy securities.
Debit spread
Applies to derivative products. Difference in the value of two options, when the value of the option bought exceeds the value of the one sold. One buys a "debit spread." Antithesis of a credit spread.
Debt
Money borrowed.
Debt bomb
A default on debt and obligations by a major financial institution that disrupts the stability of the economic system.
Debt capacity
Ability to borrow. The amount a firm can borrow up to the point where the firm value no longer increases.
Debt ceiling
See: Debt limit
Debt displacement
The amount of borrowing that leasing displaces. Firms that do a lot of leasing are curtailed in their debt capacity.
Debt/equity ratio
Indicator of financial leverage. Compares assets provided by creditors to assets provided by shareholders. Determined by dividing long-term debt by common stockholder equity.
Debt-for-equity swap
A swap agreement to exchange equity/returns for debt returns or the converse over a prearranged length of time.
Debt instrument
An asset requiring fixed dollar payments, such as a government or corporate bond.
Debt leverage
Amplification of the return earned on equity when an investment or firm is financed partially with borrowed money.
Debt limit
The maximum amount that a municipality can borrow.
Debt limitation
A bond covenant that restricts the firm's ability to incur additional indebtedness in some way.
Debt market
The market for trading debt instruments.
Debt outstanding subject to limitation
Obligations incurred by the Treasury subject to the statutory limit set by Congress. Until World War 1, a specific amount of debt was authorized for each separate security issue. Beginning with the Second Liberty Loan Act of 1917, the nature of the limitation was modified until, in 1941, it developed into an overall limit on the outstanding Federal debt. As of March 1999, the debt limit was $5,950,000 million; the limit may change from year to year.

The debt subject to limitation includes most of the Treasury's public debt except securities issued to the Federal Financing Bank, upon which there is a limitation of $15 billion, and certain categories of older debt (totaling approximately $595 million as of February 1991).

Debt ratio
Total debt divided by total assets.
Debt relief
Reducing the principal and/or interest payments on Less developed country loans.
Debt retirement
The complete repayment of debt. See: Sinking fund.
Debt securities
IOUs created through loan-type transactions-commercial paper, bank CDs, bills, bonds, and other instruments.
Debt service
Interest payment plus repayments of principal to creditors (retirement of debt).
Debt service coverage
The ratio of cash flow available to the borrower to the annual interest and principal payments on a loan or other debt.
Debt-service coverage ratio
Earnings before interest and income taxes, divided by interest expense plus the quantity of principal repayments divided by one minus the tax rate.
Debt service parity approach
Payment alternatives that provide the firm with the exact same schedule of after-tax debt payments (including both interest and principal).
Debt swap
A set of transactions in which a firm buys a country's dollar bank debt at a discount and swaps this debt with the central bank for local currency that it can use to acquire local equity. Also called a debt-equity swap.
Debtholder
See: Bondholder
Debtor
Borrower of money.
Debtor in possession
A firm that continues to operate under the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process.
Debtor-in-possession financing
New debt obtained by a firm during the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process.
Decile rank
Performance over time, rated on a scale of 1-10. 1 indicates that a mutual fund's return is in the top 10% of funds being compared; while 3 means the return is in the top 30%.
Decimal trading
The quotation and trading of stock or bond prices in decimals, as opposed to the quotation of in fractions.
Decimalization
The quotation and trading of stock or bond prices in decimals, as opposed to fractions such as eighths.
Decision Break-Point Analysis
A type of sensitivity analysis that indicates the value at which a key variable will result in a negative NPV for an investment project.
Decision tree
Schematic way of representing alternative sequential decisions and the possible outcomes from these decisions.
Declaration date
The date on which a firm's directors meet and announce the date and amount of the next dividend.
Declare
The Board of Directors motion to authorize dividend payments.
Dedicated capital
Total par value (number of shares issued, multiplied by the par value of each share). Also called dedicated value.
Dedicating a portfolio
Related: Cash flow matching
Dedication strategy
Refers to multiperiod cash-flow matching.
Deductible contribution
Amount paid into an IRA, an employer-sponsored retirement plan, or other type of retirement plan for a particular tax year that is a deduction from income for tax purposes.
Deduction
An expense that is allowable as a reduction of gross taxable income by the IRS e.g., charity donations.
Deductive reasoning
Using known fact to draw a conclusion about a specific situation.
Deed of trust
See: Indenture
Deep-discount bond
A bond issued with a very low coupon or no coupon that sell at a price far below par value. A bond that has no coupon is called a zero-coupon bond.
Deep in/out of the money
A call option with an exercise price substantially below the underlying stock's market price (deep in the money) or substantially above the market price (deep out of the money). Also put option with an exercise price substantially above the underlying stock's market price (deep in the money) or substantially below the underlying stock's market price (deep out of the money).
Default
Failure to make timely payment of interest or principal on a debt security or to otherwise comply with the provisions of a bond indenture.
Default premium
A differential in promised yield that compensates the investor for the risk inherent in purchasing a corporate bond that entails some risk of default.
Default risk
The risk that an issuer of a bond may be unable to make timely principal and interest payments. Also referred to as credit risk (as gauged by commercial rating companies).
Defeasance
The setting aside by a borrower of cash or bonds sufficient to service the borrower's debt. Both the borrower's debt and the offsetting cash or bonds are removed from the balance sheet.
Defensive securities
Low-risk stocks or bonds that will provide a predictable and safe return on an investor's money.
Deferred account
A type of account that delays taxes on that account until some later date.
Deferred annuities
Tax-advantaged life insurance products. Deferred annuities offer deferral of taxes with the option of withdrawing one's funds in the form of life annuity.
Deferred call
A provision that prohibits the company from calling the bond before a certain date. During this period the bond is said to be call protected.
Deferred charge
An expenditure treated as an asset that carries forward until it becomes pertinent to the business at hand, e.g., advance rent payment.
Deferred compensation
An amount that has been earned but is not actually paid until a later date, typically through a payment plan, pension, or stock option plan.
Deferred equity
A common term for convertible bonds, which recognizes their equity component and the expectation that the bond will ultimately be converted into shares of common stock.
Deferred futures
The most distant months of a futures contract.
Deferred interest bond
A bond that pays interest at a later date, usually in one lump sum, effectively reinvesting interest earned over the life of the bond. See: Zero coupon bond.
Deferred nominal life Annuity
A monthly fixed-dollar payment beginning at retirement age. It is nominal because the payment is fixed in a dollar amount at any particular time, up to and including retirement.
Deferred payment annuity
An annuity that stipulates payments be made to the annuitant at a later date, such as when the annuitant reaches a certain age.
Deferred taxes
A non-cash expense that provides a source of free cash flow. Amount allocated during the period to cover tax liabilities that have not yet been paid.
Deficiency letter
Notification from the SEC to a prospective issuer of securities that revisions or additions need to be made to the preliminary prospectus.
Deficit
An excess of liabilities over assets, of losses over profits, or of expenditure over income.
Deficit spending
When government spending overwhelms government revenue resulting in government borrowing.
Defined asset fund
A unit investment trust consisting of a fixed portfolio of securities, including blue chips, REITs, or high-yielding stocks on a major exchange such as the NYSE or FTSE.
Defined benefit plan
A pension plan obliging the sponsor to make specified dollar payments to qualifying employees. The pension obligations are effectively the debt obligation of the plan sponsor. Related: Defined contribution plan
Defined contribution plan
A pension plan whose sponsor is responsible only for making specified contributions into the plan on behalf of qualifying participants. Related: Defined benefit plan
Deflation
Decline in the prices of goods and services. Antithesis of inflation.
Deflator
A statistical factor used to convert current dollar purchasing power into inflation-adjusted purchasing power. Enabling the comparison of prices while accounting for inflation in two different time periods.
Delayed issuance pool
Refers to mortgage backed securities (MBS) that at the time of issuance were collateralized by seasoned loans originated prior to the MBS pool issue date.
Delayed opening
Postponement of the start of trading in a stock until correction of a gross imbalance in buy and sell orders. Such an imbalance is likely to follow on the heels of a significant event such as a takeover offer. See: Suspended trading.
Delayed settlement/delivery
In the context of general equities, transaction in which a contract is settled in excess of five full business days. Seller's option. See: Dividend play, settlement.
Delinquency
Failure to make a payment on a debt or obligation by the specified due date.
Delisting
Removal of a company's security from listing on an exchange because the firm has not abided by specific regulations.
Deliver
The sale of a futures or forward contract may require the seller to deliver the commodity.
Deliverable bills
The Treasury bills that fulfill a set of guidelines set forth by the exchange on which the bills are traded.
Deliverable instrument
The asset in a forward contract that will be delivered in the future at an agreed-upon price.
Delivery
The tender and receipt of an actual commodity or financial instrument in settlement of a futures contract.
Delivery date
Date by which a seller must fulfill the obligations of a forward or futures contract.
Delivery notice
The written notice given by the seller of its intention to make delivery against an open, short futures position on a particular date. Related: Notice day.
Delivery options
The options available to the seller of an interest rate futures contract, including the quality option, the timing option, and the wild card option. Delivery options mean that the buyer is uncertain of which Treasury bond will be delivered or when it will be delivered.
Delivery points
Locations designated by futures exchanges at which the financial instrument or commodity covered by a futures contract may be delivered in fulfillment of such a contract.
Delivery price
The price fixed by the clearinghouse at which deliveries on futures are invoiced; also the price at which the futures contract is settled when deliveries are made.
Delivery versus payment
A transaction in which the buyer's payment for securities is due at the time of delivery (usually to a bank acting as agent for the buyer) upon receipt of the securities. The payment may be made by bank wire, check, or direct credit to an account.
Delta
The ratio of the change in price of a call option to the change in price of the underlying stock. Also called the hedge ratio. Applies to derivative products. Measure of the relationship between an option price and the underlying futures contract or stock price. For a call option, a delta of 0.50 means a half-point rise in premium for every dollar that the stock goes up. As options near expiration, in-the-money call option contracts approach a delta of 1.0, while in the money put options approach a delta of -1. See: hedge ratio, neutral hedge.
Delta cross-hedge
A futures hedge that has both maturity and currency mismatches with an underlying exposure.
Delta hedge
A dynamic hedging strategy using options that calls for constant adjustment of the number of options used, as a function of the delta of the option.
Delta neutral
Describes value of a portfolio not affected by changes in the value of the asset on which the options are written.
Demand deposits
Checking accounts that pay no interest and from which funds can be withdrawn upon demand.
Demand line of credit
A bank line of credit that enables a customer to borrow on a daily or on-demand basis.
Demand loan
A loan which can be called by the lender at any time and carries no set maturity date.
Demand master notes
Short-term securities that are repayable immediately upon the holder's demand.
Demand-pull inflation
A theory of inflation or price increases resulting from so-called excess demand. Related: Cost-push inflation.
Demand shock
An event that affects the demand for goods and services in an economy.
Denomination
Corresponds to the face value of currency units, coins, and securities.
Dependent
Acceptance of a capital budgeting project contingent on the acceptance of another project.
Deposit insurance
See: FDIC: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act
The 1980 federal legislation that ended the regulation of the banking industry.
Depository preferred
Device enabling an issuer to circumvent an arbitrary corporate limit on the number of preferred shares issuable. Applies mainly to convertible securities.
Depository receipt
See: ADR American Depository Receipt
Depository transfer check (DTC)
Check made out directly by a local bank to a particular firm or person.
Depository Trust Company (DTC)
DTC is a user-owned securities depository that accepts deposits of eligible securities for custody, executes book-entry deliveries and records book-entry pledges of securities in its custody, and provides for withdrawals of securities from its custody. Central securities repository where stock and bond certificates are exchanged. Most of these exchanges now take place electronically, and few paper certificates actually change hands. The DTC is a member of the Federal Reserve System and is owned by most of the brokerage houses on Wall Street and the NYSE
Depreciate
To allocate the purchase cost of an asset over its life.
Depreciated cost
In terms of economics: The measure of cost of capital consumption during production, e.g., machine and equipment wear.
In terms of finance: The process of amortization of fixed assets (equipment) to spread the cost over the depreciable life of the assets.
Depreciation
A non-cash expense that provides a source of free cash flow. Amount allocated during the period to amortize the cost of acquiring long-term assets over the useful life of the assets.
Depreciation tax shield
The value of the tax write-off on depreciation of plant and equipment.
Depressed market
Market in which supply overwhelms demand, leading to weak and lower prices.
Depressed price
In the context of stocks, stock whose market price is low in comparison to stocks in its sector.
Depression
Period when excess aggregate supply overwhelms aggregate demand, resulting in falling prices, unemployment problems, and economic contraction.
Deregulation
The reduction of government's role in controlling markets, which lead to freer markets, and presumably a more efficient marketplace.
Derivative
A financial contract whose value is based on, or "derived" from, a traditional security (such as a stock or bond), an asset (such as a commodity), or a market index.
Derivative instruments
Contracts such as options and futures whose price is derived from the price of an underlying financial asset.
Derivative markets
Markets for derivative instruments.
Derivative security
A financial security such as an option or future whose value is derived in part from the value and characteristics of another security, the underlying asset.
Descending tops
A chart pattern which in which each successive peak in a security's price is lower than the preceding peak over a period of time. Antithesis of ascending tops.
Descriptor
A variable describing assets, used as an element of a risk index. For example, a volatility risk index, distinguishing high volatility assets from low volatility assets, could consist of several descriptors based on short term volatility, long term volatility, systematic and residual volatility, etc.
Designated order turnaround system (DOT)
Computerized order entry system that allows orders to buy or sell large baskets of stock to be transmitted immediately to the specialist on the exchange, where execution will occur quickly, depending on the basket size. Also used for odd-lot transactions to occur at the prices and quantities available. See: AOS.
Desk
The New York Federal Reserve Bank's trading desk (or securities department) where all transactions of the Federal Reserve System are executed in the money market or the government securities market.
Detachable warrant
A warrant entitles the holder to buy a given number of shares of stock at a stipulated price. A detachable warrant is one that may be sold separately from the package it may have originally been issued with (usually a bond).
Determinism
Fully ordained in advance. A deterministic chaos system is one that gives random looking results, even though the results are generated from a system of equations.
Deterministic models
Liability-matching models that assume that the liability payments and the asset cash flows are known with certainty. Related: Stochastic models.
Detrend
To remove the general drift, tendency, or bent of a set of statistical data as related to time. Often accomplished by regressing a variable or a time index and perhaps time-squared and capturing the residuals.
Deutsche Börse AG (DBAG)
Deutsche Börse AG (DBAG) is the operating company for the German cash and derivatives markets. It has four subsidiaries: Deutsche Börse Clearing AG, Deutsche Börse Systems AG, Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse (FWB), and the derivatives market, EUREX Deutschland (formerly the Deutsche Terminbörse ).
Devaluation
A decrease in the spot price of a currency. Often initiated by a government announcement.
Diagonal spread
An options strategy requiring a long and a short position in the same class of option at different strike prices and different expiration dates. For example, two puts or two calls in the same stock. See: Calendar spread; vertical spread.
Dialing and smiling
See: Cold calling
Dialing for dollars
A term used to describe the practice of cold calling, but which has negative implications as it is frequently applied to salespeople selling speculative or fraudulent investments.
Diamonds
Units of interest in the diamonds trust, a unit investment trust that serves as an index to the Dow Jones Industrial Average in that its holdings consist of the 30 component stocks of the Dow.
Diff
Short version of Euro rate differential, which is a Chicago Mercantile Exchange Futures contract that is founded on the interest rate spread between the U.S. dollar and the British pound, the German mark, or the Japanese yen.
Difference check
The difference in interest payments that is paid to a swap counterparty to close out a deal.
Difference from S&P
A mutual fund's return minus the change in the Standard & Poor's 500 index for the same time period. A notation of -5.00 means the fund return is 5 percentage points less than the gain in the S&P, while 0.00 means that the fund and the S&P have the same return.
Differential
A small charge, typically 1/8 point, added to the purchase price and subtracted from the selling price by the dealer for odd-lot quantities.
Differential disclosure
The practice of reporting conflicting or markedly different information in official corporate statements including annual and quarterly reports and 10-Ks and 10-Qs.
Differential swap
Swap between two LIBOR rates of interest, e.g., yen LIBOR for dollar LIBOR Payments are in one currency.
Diffusion process
A conception of the way a stock's price changes that assumes that the price takes on all intermediate values.
Digits deleted
Designation on securities exchange tape meaning that because the tape has been delayed, some digits have been dropped (e.g., 26 1/2 becomes 6 1/2).
Dilution
Diminution in the proportion of income to which each share is entitled.
Dilution protection
Standard provision that changes the conversion ratio in the case of a stock dividend or extraordinary distribution to avoid dilution of a convertible bondholder's potential equity position. Adjustment usually requires a split or stock dividend in excess of 5% or issuance of stock below book value.
Dilutive effect
Result of a transaction that decreases earnings per common share (EPS).
Dip
Slight drop in securities prices after a sustained uptrend. Analysts often advise investors to buy on dips, meaning to buy when a price is momentarily weak. See: Correction, break, crash.
Direct Claim
A financial claim issued by a deficit unit to acquire funds for investment in real assets.
Direct costs of financial distress
Costs such as fees or penalties incurred as a result of bankruptcy or liquidation proceedings.
Direct deposit service
A service that electronically transfers all or part of any recurring payment—including dividends, paychecks, pensions, and Social Security payments—directly to a shareholder's account.
Direct estimate method
A method of cash budgeting based on detailed estimates of cash receipts and cash disbursements category by category.
Direct Exchange Rate
The home currency price of one unit of a foreign currency.
Discount Interest
Interest at a beginning of the loan. For example if you take out a one-year loan of $100 at a discount interest rate of 10%, you would receive $90 at the outset.
Direct investment
The purchase of a controlling interest in a company or at least enough interest to have enough influence to direct the course of the company.
Direct lease
Contract in which a lessor purchases new equipment from the manufacturer and leases it to the lessee.
Direct overhead
A fraction of overhead costs devoted to the manufacturing sector of a firm to cover expenses such as rent and utilities.
Direct paper
Commercial paper sold directly by the issuer to investors.
Direct participation program
An investment program enabling investors to directly participate in the cash_flow and tax benefits of the partnership invested in by the investor, typically a form of passive investment.
Direct placement
Selling a new issue not by offering it for sale publicly, but by placing it with one of several institutional investors.
Direct quote
For foreign exchange, the number of US dollars needed to buy one unit of a foreign currency.
Direct rollover
Movement of tax-deferred retirement plan money from one qualified plan or custodian to another. No immediate tax liabilities or penalties are incurred, but there is an IRS reporting requirement.
Direct search market
Buyers and sellers seek each other directly and transact directly.
Direct stock-purchase programs
Investors purchase securities directly from the issuer.
Direct terms
The price of a unit of foreign currency in domestic currency terms, such as $.9850/Euro for a US resident. See: Indirect terms.
Director
See: Board of directors.
Directorship
Used in the context of general equities. Stock status whereby a trader may not maintain positions in the security, due to an investment bank employee serving as a director on the corporation's board of directors done to avoid conflicts of interest; signified by a flashing "D" on Quotron. Contrast to restricted.
Dirty float
A system of floating exchange rates in which a government may intervene to change the direction of the value of the country's currency.
Dirty price
Bond price including accrued interest, i.e., the price paid by the bond buyer.
Dirty stock
A stock that fails to fulfill prerequisites to attain good delivery status.
Disability income insurance
An insurance policy that insures a worker in the event of an occupational mishap resulting in disability. Insurance benefits compensate the injured worker for lost pay.
Disbursement float
A decrease in book cash but no immediate change in bank cash, generated by checks written by the firm.
Discharge of bankruptcy
The termination of bankruptcy proceedings, resulting in cancellation of the debtor's obligations.
Discharge of lien
An order terminating a lien on property.
Disclaimer of opinion
An auditor's statement that does not express any opinion regarding the company's financial condition.
Disclosure
A company's release of all information pertaining to the company's business activity, regardless of how that information may influence investors.
Discontinued operations
Divisions of a business that have been sold or written off and that no longer are maintained by the business.
Discount
Convertible: Difference between gross parity and a given convertible price. Most often invoked when a redemption is expected before the next coupon payment, making it liable for accrued interest. Antithesis of premium.
General: Information that has already been taken into account and is built into a stock or market.
Straight equity: Price lower than that of the last sale or inside market.
Discount bond
Debt sold for less than its principal value. If a discount bond pays no coupon, it is called a zero coupon bond.
Discount broker
A brokerage house featuring relatively low commission rates in comparison to a full-service broker.
Discount factor
Present value of $1 received at a stated future date.
Discount period
The period during which a customer can deduct the discount from the net amount of the bill when making payment.
Discount rate
The interest rate that the Federal Reserve charges a bank to borrow funds when a bank is temporarily short of funds. Collateral is necessary to borrow, and such borrowing is quite limited because the Fed views it as a privilege to be used to meet short-term liquidity needs, and not a device to increase earnings.
Discount securities
Non-interest-bearing money market instruments that are issued at a discount and redeemed at maturity for full face value, e.g., US Treasury bills.
Discount window
Facility provided by the Fed enabling member banks to borrow reserves against collateral in the form of governments or other acceptable paper.
Discount yield
The yield or annual interest rate on a security sold to an investor at a discount. A bond that is sold at $4875 that matures to $5000 has a discount of $125. To calculate the discount yield: (discount divided by the face value of the security) multiplied by the (number of days in the year divided by the number of days to maturity).
Discounted basis
To sell below maturity value, so that the difference makes up all or part of the interest.
Discounted cash flow (DCF)
Future cash flows multiplied by discount factors to obtain present values.
Discounted dividend model (DDM)
A formula to estimate the intrinsic value of a firm by figuring the present value of all expected future dividends.
Discounted payback
The length of time needed to recoup the present value of an investment.
Discounted payback period rule
An investment decision rule in which cash flows are discounted at an interest rate and one determines how long it takes for the sum of the discounted cash flows to equal the initial investment.
Discounted in/by market
Unannounced information that is widely accepted or anticipated, and hence is already taken into account in the pricing of the security/ market (e.g., poor earnings).
Discounting
Calculating the present value of a future amount. Discounting is opposite to compounding.
Discounting the news
An adjustment of a stock's price as speculators bid the price up or down in anticipation of news about the company, whether good or bad.
Discrete compounding
Compounding the time value of money for separate time intervals.
Discrete random variable
A random variable that can take only a certain specified set of individual possible values-for example, the positive integers 1, 2, 3, . . .
Discrete variable
Variable like 1, 2, 3. Bond ratings are examples of discrete classifications.
Discretionary account
Accounts over which an individual or organization, other than the person in whose name the account is carried, exercises trading authority or control.
Discretionary cash flow
Cash flow that is available after the funding of all positive net present value (NPV) capital investment projects; it is available for paying cash dividends, repurchasing common stock, retiring debt, and so on.
Discretionary income
The amount of income a consumer has available after purchasing essentials such as food and shelter.
Discretionary order
A type of buy order that gives the broker the freedom and power to make the execution at any time and price that is seen fit and reasonable, given the investor's goals.
Discretionary reserves
Balance sheet accounts representing temporary accumulations of earnings from the current year or the recent past.
Discretionary trust
In the context of mutual funds, refers to a mutual fund or unit trust whose management decides on the best way to use the assets without restriction to a specific type of security.
In the context of trusts, refers to a personal trust in which a trustee has the power of decision as to how much income or principal each beneficiary receives.
Discriminate analysis
A statistical process that links the probability of default to a specified set of financial ratios.
Dishonor
A refusal to pay.
Disinflation
A decrease in the rate of inflation.
Disintermediation
Withdrawal of funds from a financial institution in order to invest them directly.
Disinvestment
A reduction in capital investment reflected by a decrease in capital goods and a company's decision not to replace depleted capital goods.
Disposable income
The amount of personal income an individual has after taxes and government fees, which can be spent on necessities, or non-essentials, or be saved.
Distress sale
The selling of assets under adverse conditions, e.g., an investor may have to sell securities to cover a margin call.
Distributed
As new Treasury issues in dealers' hands are said to be distributed.
Distributing syndicate
A syndicate consisting of a number of brokerage firms or investment bankers that work together to sell and disperse a large lot of securities.
Distribution
Selling a large lot of a security in such a way that the security price is not heavily influenced.
Distribution area
An established price range in which a stock has been trading in for a significant amount of time. See: Accumulation area.
Distribution Cost Advantage
A source of competitive advantage that depends on the efficient delivery of a product or service to customers.
Distribution by coupon
Classification of a portfolio's securities according to coupon rate—the interest rate that an issuer promises to pay, expressed as an annual percentage of face value.
Distribution by credit quality
Classification of a portfolio's securities according to credit rating.
Distribution by issuer
Classification of a portfolio's holdings by type of issuer or type of instrument.
Distribution by maturity
An indicator of interest rate risk. In general, the higher the concentration of longer-maturity issues, the more a portfolio's share price will fluctuate in response to changes in interest rates.
Distribution period
The few days between the board of directors' declaration of a stock dividend (declaration date) and the date of record, or the date an individual must own shares to be entitled to a dividend.
Distribution plan
A mutual fund's plan to charge distribution costs such as advertising to the investors of the fund.
Distribution schedule
The frequency (monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually) of a mutual fund's scheduled distributions of dividends or capital gains.
Distribution stock
A small amount of a specific stock that forms part of a larger block of stock that is sold small amount by small amount so as not to disrupt the stock's market price.
Distributions
Payments from fund or corporate cash flow. May include dividends from earnings, capital gains from sale of portfolio holdings and return of capital. Fund distributions can be made by check or by investing in additional shares. Funds are required to distribute capital gains (if any) to shareholders at least once per year. Some corporations offer Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRP).
Divergence
When two or more averages or indexes fail to show confirming trends.
Diversifiable risk
Related: Unsystematic risk
Diversification
Dividing investment funds among a variety of securities with different risk, reward, and correlation statistics so as to minimize unsystematic risk.
Diversified investment company
An investment vehicle such as a mutual fund that invests in an assortment of securities.
Divestiture
A complete asset or investment disposal such as outright sale or liquidation.
Dividend
A portion of a company's profit paid to common and preferred shareholders. A stock selling for $20 a share with an annual dividend of $1 a share yields the investor 5%.
Dividend Discount Return
The rate of return which equates the present value of future expected dividends with the current market price of a security.
Dividend in arrears
Accumulated dividends on cumulative preferred stock that are deemed payable to the current holder.
Dividend capture
See: Dividend rollover plan
Dividend clawback
An arrangement under which sponsors of a project agree to contribute as equity any prior dividends received from the project to the extent necessary to cover any cash deficiencies.
Dividend clientele
A group of shareholders who prefer that the firm follow a particular dividend policy. Such a preference may be based on comparable tax situations.
Dividend Discount Model (DDM)
A method to value the common stock of a company that is based on the present value of the expected future dividends.
Dividend distribution
See: Dividend income
Dividend growth model
An approach that assumes dividends grow at a constant rate in perpetuity. The value of the stock equals next year's dividends divided by the difference between the required rate of return and the assumed constant growth rate in dividends.
Dividend income
Distribution of earnings to shareholders that may be in the form of cash, stock, or property. Mutual fund dividends are paid out of income, usually on a quarterly basis, from interest generated by a fund's investments. Also known as a dividend distribution.
Dividend limitation
A bond covenant that restricts in some way the firm's ability to pay cash dividends.
Dividend payout ratio
Percentage of earnings paid out as dividends.
Dividend policy
Standards by which a firm determines the amount of money it will pay as dividends.
Dividend rate
The fixed or floating rate paid on preferred stock based on par value.
Dividend record
S&P publication stating companies' payment histories and corporate policies.
Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRP)
Automatic reinvestment of shareholder dividends in more shares of a company's stock, often without commissions. Some plans provide for the purchase of additional shares at a discount to market price. Dividend reinvestment plans allow shareholders to accumulate stock over the long term using dollar cost averaging. The DRP is usually administered by the company without charges to the holder.
Dividend requirement
The annual earnings minimum required for payment of dividends on a preferred stock.
Dividend rights
A shareholder's rights to receive per-share dividends identical to those other shareholders receive.
Dividend rollover plan
An investment strategy that entails the purchase and selling of a stock right before its ex-dividend date in order to collect the dividends paid out by the stock and capture a trade profit.
Dividend trade roll/play
Used for listed equity securities. Method of buying and selling stocks around their ex-dividend dates so as to collect the dividend (which is 80% tax-exempt) offset by a fully-taxable capital loss. Predicated on the 80% current exemption that some corporations receive on dividend income.
Dividend yield (Funds)
Indicated yield represents return on a share of a mutual fund held over the past 12 months. Assumes fund was purchased a year ago. Reflects effect of sales charges (at current rates), but not redemption charges.
Dividend yield (Stocks)
Indicated yield represents annual dividends divided by current stock price.
Dividends payable
The declared dividend dollar amount that a company is obligated to pay.
Dividends per share
Dividend paid for the past 12 months divided by the number of common shares outstanding, as reported by a company. The number of shares often is determined by a weighted average of shares outstanding over the reporting term.
Dividends-received deduction
A corporate tax deduction on income allowed by company A that is in ownership of shares of company B and receives dividends on the shares of company B.
DM
Deutsche (German) marks.
Deutsche Terminbörse (DTB)
Formerly the German financial futures and options market. Merged with the Swiss Options and Financial Futures Exchange (SOFFEX) in 1998 to form EUREX, the European derivatives exchange.
Divisor
Used in construction of stock indices. Suppose you have 10 stocks in an index, each worth $10 and the index is at 100. Now suppose you want to replace one of the stocks with another stock (reshuffling happens). Suppose that the new stock to be included is worth $20. So the total value of the index is 110 after the swapping. But we really shouldn't have an increase in value because nothing has happened - other than switching two constituents. So, what people do is to change the divisor. In this case, the divisor goes from 1 to 1.10. Notice that the value of the index, 110/1.1 is now exactly 100 - which is where we began from.
Delphi technique
Collection of independent opinions without group discussion by the analysts providing the opinions; used for various sorts of evaluations (such as country risk assessment).
Dependent variable
Term used in regression analysis to represent the element or condition that is dependent on values of one or more other variables.
Direct foreign investment (DFI)
Investment in real assets (such as land, buildings, or plants) outside one's own country.
Direct Loan Program
Fixed-rate loans offered by the Ex-Im Bank directly to the foreign buyer to purchase US capital equipment and services.
Divisor
Denominator in price-weighted indexes to adjust for security changes such as stock splits.
Do Not Increase (DNI)
A restriction that an investor places on a good til' canceled order to prevent an order increase in the case of a stock dividend or stock split.
Do Not Reduce Order (DNR Order)
Limit order to buy or to sell, or a stop limit order to sell that is not to be reduced by the amount of an ordinary cash dividend on the ex-dividend date. A "do not reduce order" applies only to ordinary cash dividends, and not stock dividends or rights.
Doctrine of sovereign immunity
Principle that a nation may not be tried in another country without its consent.
Documentary collections
Trade transactions handled on a draft basis.
Documented discount notes
Commercial paper backed by normal bank lines of credit plus a letter of credit from a bank stating that it will pay off the paper at maturity if the borrower defaults. Such paper is also referred to as L.O.C. paper.
Documents against acceptance
Shipping documents held by the buyer's bank until the buyer has accepted (signed) the draft.
Documents against payment
Shipping documents that are released to the buyer once the buyer has paid for the draft.
Dogs of the Dow
T 10 stocks of the 30 on the Dow Jones Industrial Average with the most depressed prices and consequently the highest yields. The investor buying these stocks speculates that they will bounce back over a one-year period.
Dollar bears
Traders who capitalize on a falling dollar by buying other foreign currencies directly.
Dollar bonds
Municipal revenue bonds for which quotes are given in dollar prices. Not to be confused with "US Dollar" bonds, a common term of reference in the Eurobond market.
Dollar cost averaging
See: Constant dollar plan
Dollar drain
The impact of importing from foreign countries more than exporting to them. The money required to finance the import purchases removes dollars from the importing nation.
Dollar duration
The product of modified duration and the initial price.
Dollar price of a bond
Percentage of face value at which a bond is quoted.
Dollar return
The return realized on a portfolio for any evaluation period, including (1) the change in market value of the portfolio and (2) any distributions made from the portfolio during that period.
Dollar roll
Similar to the reverse repurchase agreement-a simultaneous agreement to sell a security held in a portfolio with purchase of a similar security at a future date at an agreed-upon price.
Dollar safety margin
The dollar equivalent of the safety cushion for a portfolio in a contingent immunization strategy.
Dollar shortage
Results when a nation importing US goods cannot pay for them without the aid of the United States.
Dollar-weighted rate of return
Also called the internal rate of return; the interest rate that makes the present value of the cash flows from all the subperiods in an evaluation period plus the terminal market value of the portfolio equal to the initial market value of the portfolio.
Domestic bonds
Bonds issued and traded within the internal market of a country and denominated in the currency of that country.
Domestic corporation
A corporation that is conducting business and is based in the country in which it is established, as opposed to a foreign corporation.
Domestic International Sales Corporation (DISC)
A US corporation that receives a tax incentive for export activities.
Domestic market
A nation's internal market representing the mechanisms for issuing and trading securities of entities domiciled within that nation. Compare external market and foreign market.
Domestic series
Nonmarketable, interest and noninterest-bearing securities issued periodically by the Treasury to the Resolution Funding Corporation (RFC) for investment of funds authorized under section 21B of the Federal Home Loan Bank Act.
Donor
One who gives property or assets to someone else through the vehicle of a trust.
Don't fight the tape
Phrase advising not to trade against the market trend. If stock prices are rising, do not sell.
Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party.
Double auction market
Systems by which listed securities are bought and sold through brokers on the securities exchanges, as distinguished from the OTC market, where trades are negotiated. Unlike the conventional auction with one auctioneer and many buyers, double auction markets consist of many sellers and many buyers.
Double auction system
A market consisting of many sellers and many buyers, as opposed to a conventional auction with one market maker and many buyers.
Double-barreled
Describes backing of the principal and interest of a smaller municipal revenue bond the large municipal entity.
Double bottom
A term used in technical analysis to refer to the drop of a stock's price, a rebound, and then a drop back to the same level as the original drop.
Double-declining-balance depreciation method (DDB)
An accounting methodology in which depreciation is accelerated to twice the rate of annual depreciation by the straight-line method.
Double-declining-balance depreciation
Method of accelerated depreciation.
Double dip
Used for listed equity securities. Dividend roll in which the "dividend capturer" already owns the stock cum dividend .
Double-dip lease
A cross-border lease in which the different rules of the lessor's and lessee's countries let both parties be treated as the owner of the leased equipment for tax purposes.
Double-entry bookkeeping
Accounting method that records each transaction as both a credit and a debit in different accounts.
Double-tax agreement
Agreement between two countries that taxes paid abroad can be offset against domestic taxes levied on foreign dividends.
Double taxation
Government taxation of the same money twice; specifically, taxation of earnings at the corporate level and dividends at the stockholder level.
Double top
A term used in technical analysis to refer to the rise of a stock's price, a drop, and then a rise back to the same level as the original rise.
Double up
A stock buying strategy that doubles the risk when the price moves in the opposite direction from the direction the investor hoped for. For example, an investor with confidence in ABC buys 1000 shares at $100 and another 1000 shares when the price declines to $90.
Double witching day
A trading day when of two related classes of options and futures expire, resulting in a variety of arbitrage strategies to close out positions.
Doubling option
A sinking fund provision that may allow repurchase of twice the required number of bonds at the sinking fund call price.
Dow dividend theory
See: Dogs of the Dow.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
The best known US index of stocks. A price-weighted average of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks, primarily industrials including, stocks that trade on the New York Stock Exchange. The Dow, as it is called, is a barometer of how shares of the largest US companies are performing. There are hundreds of investment indexes around the world for stocks, bonds, currencies, and commodities.
Dow Theory
Used in the context of general equities. Technical theory that a major trend in the stock market must be confirmed by simultaneous movement of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Dow Jones Transportation Average to new highs or lows.
Down round
Refers to a round of venture capital financing that is raised at a lower firm valuation than the previous round.
Down-and-in option
Barrier option that comes into existence if asset price hits a predetermined price level.
Down-and-out option
Barrier option that expires if asset price hits a predetermined price level.
Downgrade
A negative change in ratings for a stock, or other rated security.
Downside risk
The risk that a security will decline in value including the implications of risk.
Downsizing
A company's reduction in the number of employees, number of bureaucratic levels, and overall size in an attempt to increase efficiency and profitability.
Downstream
The transfer of corporate activity from the larger parent to the smaller subsidiary.
Downtick
Move down in a particular stock. On U.S. stock exchanges, you cannot sell a stock short on a downtick.
Downturn
The transition point between a rising, expanding economy to a falling, contracting one.
Draining reserves
Federal Reserve System's course of action to tighten the money supply by (1) raising a bank's minimum reserve requirements, (2) selling bonds in the open market, (3) raising the rate at which banks borrow from the Fed.
Draft
An unconventional order in writing-signed by a person, usually the exporter, and addressed to the importer-ordering the importer or the importer's agent to pay, on demand (sight draft) or at a fixed future date (time draft) the amount specified on the face of the draft.
Draw a call
In the context of general equities, provoking a customer indication/inquiry/order by up or doing large amount of the volume in a stock.
Drawback
A tax or duty rebate on imported goods that are exported at a later date.
Dressing up a portfolio
Money managers' strategy to make transactions for the sole purpose of making a portfolio look good to the investor near the end of a reporting period. See: Window dressing
Drip feed
The continual investment of capital in a small and growing company as the company needs it, rather than investing a lump sum at the company's inception.
Drive-by VC
A type of venture capitalist. In the usual model, the venture capitalist (VC) is involved in management and monitoring of the startup. A drive-by VC invests in a portfolio of startups and is often quick to exit.
Drop
Refers to over-the-counter trading. Remove from OTC trading list; hence, no longer making a market in a security.
Drop, The
In a dollar roll transaction, the difference between the sale price of a mortgage-backed pass-through, and its repurchase price on a future date at a predetermined price.
Drop-dead day
The date on which a deadline is final, with no exceptions.
Drop-dead fee
A term of British origin referring to fee that must be paid if a deal falls through because of financing issues.
Drop lock
The fixing of the interest rate on a floating-rate note or preferred stock if it falls to a specified level.
Dual banking
Describes United States custom in which a bank is chartered by the state or federal government.
Dual-currency issues
Eurobonds that pay coupon interest in one currency but pay the principal in a different currency.
Dual listing
Listing of a security on more than one exchange, thus increasing the competition for bid and offer prices, the liquidity of the securities, and the length time the stock can be traded daily (if listed on both the east and west coasts.) See: Listed security.
Dual-purpose fund
A closed-end fund consisting of two classes of shares. The two classes are preferred shares, on which shareholders receive all the dividends and interest from the portfolio, and common shares, on which shareholders receive all the capital gains.
Dual syndicate equity offering
An international equity placement that splits the offering is split into two branches - domestic and foreign - and each grantee is handled by a separate lead manager.
Dual trading
The custom of a trader on the commodities market to deal for its own account and the investor's account at the same time.
Due bill
An instrument evidencing the obligation of a seller to deliver securities sold to the buyer. Occasionally used in the bill market.
Due date
Date on which a debt must be paid.
Due diligence
An internal audit of a target firm by an acquiring firm. Offers are often made contingent upon resolution of the due diligence process.
Due diligence meeting
Meeting legally required to be held by an underwriter to enable brokers to question a new issuer about an upcoming issue.
Due-on-sale clause
A mortgage contract clause stipulating that the borrower to pay off the full remaining principal on a mortgage if the mortgaged property is sold before the mortgage is paid off.
Dumping
Used in the context of general equities. Offering large amounts of stock with little or no concern for price or market effect.
Duplicative portfolio
Mainly applies to derivative products. Basket of stocks that imitates the price movement of another set of securities (e.g., S&P 500 index).
Dupont system of financial control
Highlights the fact that return on assets (ROA) can be expressed in terms of the profit margin and asset turnover.
Duration drift
Change in duration attributable to the passage of time.
Duration
A common gauge of the price sensitivity of a fixed income asset or portfolio to a change in interest rates.
Duration matching strategy
An immunization technique that matches asset duration with the duration of the liabilities.
Dutch auction
Auction in which the lowest price necessary to sell the entire offering becomes the price at which all securities offered are sold. This technique has been used in Treasury auctions. Often used in risk arbitrage. Auction system in which the price of an item (stock) is gradually lowered until it meets a responsive bid (government T-bills) or offer (corporate repurchase) and is sold. In a corporate repurchase, a range of prices is set by the company within which shareholders are invited to tender their shares. The tender offer is open for a specific period of time (i.e., 20 days), and the quantity of stock to be purchased is stated as well, subject to proration if more shares are tendered than can be legally purchased under the stated terms (often an additional amount equal to 20% of outstanding shares can be purchased). The price paid is that at which the amount stated to be purchased can be sold. Compare to double auction system.
Dutch Auction Preferred Stock
A form of adjustable-rate preferred stock in which the dividend is ascertained in a Dutch Auction process by corporate bidders every seven weeks.
Duty
A tax on imports, exports, or consumption goods.
Dwarfs
Fannie mae issued mortgage-backed securities pool that have an original maturity of 15 years.
Dynamic asset allocation
An asset allocation strategy in which the asset mix is quantitatively shifted in response to -changing market conditions, as in a portfolio insurance strategy, for example.
Dynamic hedging
A strategy that involves rebalancing hedge positions as market conditions change; a strategy that seeks to insure the value of a portfolio using a synthetic put option.
Dynamical Noise
When the output of a dynamical system becomes corrupted with noise, and the noisy value is used as input during the next iteration. Also called System Noise. See: Observational Noise.
Dynamical Systems
A system of equations where the output of one equation is part of the input for another. A simple version of a dynamical system is linear simultaneous equations. Non-linear simultaneous equations are nonlinear dynamical systems.

 
 

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