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What is marking the close or window dressing?

Introduction to Marking the Close and Window Dressing

QUICK DEFINITION: Obtaining market prints at the end of a trading session at prices that improve the valuation of a large held position.

The performance of asset managers is usually measured by closing prices at the end of a particular trading session. In futures and other margin-based markets, closing prices determine margin calls. Closing prices are thus particularly attractive targets for market manipulators.

Marking the close and window dressing occurs when a trader holds a significant position in a thinly traded symbol and enters orders crossing the spread at or near the close of normal trading hours, in an attempt to cause the session to close at a price favoring the held position. Window dressing occurs only on the last trading day of the month and requires a longer position holding time. Marking the close can occur any day and requires a shorter holding time.

An example of marking the close shown in Surveyor


Reviewing Marking the Close and Window Dressing Events in Surveyor

You can learn more about reviewing these types of events in this article.

More on Surveillance Exceptions

Next, learn more about wash trades and cross trades.

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