Scenario: you place one stock market order to buy 1000 shares. The order ends up needing multiple executions to get completely filled: 200 shares, 300 shares, 400 shares, 99 shares, and then 1 share. So you placed 1 order, and needed 5 executions to fill the buy order.

Question: does this count as 1 buy (for purposes of PDT rule), if you decide (for whatever reason) to sell all these shares later on the same day?

My impression from two brokers I've talked to is their brokerages would only count this as 1 order.

But there is a confusing explanation about the PDT rule and multiple executions on the Robinhood site that has me second-guessing. https://robinhood.com/us/en/support/articles/pattern-day-trading/

Orders usually execute all at once, but occasionally you might see multiple or partial executions. This sometimes happens with large orders, or with orders on low-volume stocks. For regulatory purposes, each execution counts toward your day trade count, so trading low-volume stocks or placing especially large orders may increase your chances of executing a day trade.

EXAMPLE An order to buy 10,000 shares of XYZ may be split into separate orders:

  • Buy 1,000 share
  • Buy 2,000 shares
  • Buy 3,000 shares
  • Buy 1,500 shares
  • Buy 2,500 shares

Placing a sell order before your buy order has been completely filled puts you at risk of executing multiple trades that would pair with each sell order, resulting in multiple day trades.

If you place a sell order before all 10,000 shares are purchased, every sell order (up to 5) that you place on the stock for that day will count as a separate day trade.

What is so confusing is the article only talks about the case of "Placing a sell order before your buy order has been completely filled".

The case I'm trying to figure out, and I imagine is more common, is where you place a sell order after your buy order has been completely filled on the same day.

1 Answer 1


At my broker, as long as I don't tinker with the open order after some partial fills, it's reported as one trade, regardless of how many executions are involved and regardless of what the price is for each partial execution.

After getting a complete order fill, the process is the same for selling. No matter how many partial fills there are, it's one trade. Where this could go awry is if you use a limit order to sell and price moves away from you before you get all of your order filled.

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