What is a Buy Stop Order
KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Buy stop is a pending order to open a buy position at a higher price than the current market price
  • Buy stop is always a pending order until filled or cancelled
  • If filled, the buy stop order becomes a market order
  • Buy stop orders can also be set with SL and TP levels

What is a Buy Stop Order

A buy stop order is a pending order to enter a long position on a security at a specified higher price. Buy stop is a pending order used on a market trending up and it’s placed above the current market price.

A buy stop order is part of the pending orders class, where an order is placed on a broker’s platform an remains inactive until filled. Only when it becomes filled the buy stop order becomes a market order.

Buy stop orders can be placed on several financial instruments, such as Forex and cryptocurrencies CFDs. Buy stop orders can be set with time parameters, with an expiry date and time, or GTC (Good till Cancelled).

A buy stop order with an expiry date will be removed from the broker’s order book, if it’s not filled by the set time. If a buy stop order is set as GTC, it will remain open on the broker’s order book until it gets filled or is manually cancelled.

Buy stop orders are a great resource for traders wanting to enter the market, but without time to check the charts constantly. By setting a pending buy stop order, traders will be sure to enter the market, even if they are logged off their trading platform, or even if they are asleep.

On the MT4 and MT5 trading platforms, pending buy stop orders can also be set in conjunction with two other pending orders; stop-loss and take-profit.

This powerful combination of buy stop, stop-loss and take-profit pending orders, due to its versality, are widely used by scalpers and by day traders expecting market price breakouts.

How to Place a Buy Stop Order on MetaTrader Desktop

How to Place a Buy Stop Order on MetaTrader Desktop

Buy stop orders can be placed on MetaTrader 4 and 5 desktop versions by selecting “New Order” from the navigation tab. When the trading terminal display opens up, find the fifth option, which by default is set to “Market Execution”, click the arrow on the right once and select “Pending Order”.

The bottom half of the trading terminal display will change from instant market execution orders, with a red sell by market and a blue buy by market buttons, to “Type”. By clicking the right arrow of this menu, you will see the four market pending orders available, including buy stop order.

Select the buy stop order type, fill in the “at price” field, set the lot size, set an order expiry, set a stop-loss and a take-profit level if you wish. The buy buttons on the MetaTrader platforms, in order to be easily identifiable, are always blue.

After setting all the parameters on the pending buy stop order, press the “Place” button (it will be in blue colour). As mentioned before, if you didn’t set any expiry parameters for your order, then the buy stop will remain open until filled by the broker or if you cancel it manually.

How to Place a Buy Stop Order on MetaTrader Mobile

It is also possible to set buy stop orders, if you trade on the go, via your Android or iOS phone, and these orders have the same features of the buy stop orders of the MetaTrader Desktop version.

To place a buy stop order on MetaTrader Mobile, open the order terminal by touching the top right symbol that looks like a page with a “+”. The first order type that appears is the “Market Execution”, and by touching it MT4 mobile will display the four pending order types, including the buy stop order.

Select “Buy Stop”, and set all the parameters. You can select the lot size, set the buy stop price, set or not a stop-loss and take-profit level and the order expiration. When you’re ready and if you have set a correct buy stop price, touch the, now unblocked, “Place” button at the bottom of the screen.

How to Cancel a Buy Stop Order on MetaTrader Desktop and Mobile

To cancel a pending buy stop order on MT4 just maximise (if it was minimised) the “Trade” tab. You will see all the current open orders, if applicable, and on the bottom half, on the “Type” column, you will find the pending buy stop orders.

To cancel the buy stop order, without any delays, just follow the row to the right and find the grey “x”. Press that and the buy stop order will be cancelled straight away.

To cancel a buy stop order on MetaTrader Mobile, open the “Trade” tab on your mobile terminal. You will see all the open orders, if applicable, on the “Positions” divider and right below it, on the “Orders” divider, the buy stop orders.

Select the buy stop order you wish to cancel, by long pressing it. A new popup will open with 3 options. Select the second option “Delete order”, and the buy stop order will be cancelled from the broker’s book instantly.

When Should Traders use a Buy Stop Order?

When Should Traders use a Buy Stop Order?

Buy stop orders are a great tool for traders trading breakouts on bullish trends. Different types of traders use the buy stop orders to make a profit, particularly the day traders using support/resistance strategies and traders using pivot points strategies.

The buy stop order can be used on an upward trend, by placing a pending order in advance to enter the market when the price breaks a particular level (last high, or a resistance level), ensuring a greater probability of achieving a predetermined entry price.

For example, a trader using the pivot point strategy can place one, or several, pending buy stop orders across all the resistance levels (R1, R2, and so) above the pivot point, hoping for a price breakout above these levels.

In this case, we will recommend a buy stop order with an adequate, protective, stop-loss to protect the order against any unforeseen or sharp price retracements.

Buy stop orders are also a viable option for traders using a support/resistance strategy, by placing a pending order, triggered after the break of a strong resistance level during an uptrend. 

Conclusion

Buy stop orders are an excellent way to free traders from constantly monitoring a security’s price, especially for those who follow the price action of multiple instruments.

Contrarily to the buy limit order, that can be deployed on the stock markets, the buy stop order cannot be used in this market for placing a pending buy at the breakout of a resistance level.