So I'm understanding that the bid is the price buyers are willing to pay for a stock, and ask is the price sellers are willing to sell for.

But what if there are no limit orders... only market orders.

So buyers and sellers haven't set any limits on what they're buying or selling for. What is the bid and ask in this situation and what happens? Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    If there are no limit orders then there is nothing in the order book, aka no market. Nov 19, 2018 at 15:42
  • Ameet, a limit order is a market order, but, with a limit.
    – Fattie
    Nov 20, 2018 at 3:01

1 Answer 1


Nothing would get traded if you submit a market order into a blank order book.

This basically never happens in reality as very wide spreads tempt a whole range of groups back in to make limit orders on both sides of the order book, albeit still with a big spread (such as the order books you see on many micro cap stocks), and thus market orders stay valid, albeit much worse value than in very liquid stocks.

  • This is incorrect. Depends on exchange to price the transactions.
    – Dheer
    Nov 20, 2018 at 17:20

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .