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Spread

The difference between the bid and the ask price of an asset or security.  The spread can be influenced by various factors including current trading activity and the amount of interest in the stock or asset. In the case of options, future contracts or stocks, the bid-offer spread is calculated on the price quoted for an immediate order – the ask – and an instant sale – the bid. The bid-ask spread is sometimes used to measure market liquidity or the size of the transaction cost of a security or stock.