Is there a term for when a big player buys/sells so much volume of an asset (stock, currency, gold, etc.) that it changes the price? Is there a name for this type of player?
I want to know the searchable term so I can read literature on this.
Here are two examples of people referring to such big players as "market movers":
A market mover is one of two things:
1) A trader or institution which trades in size sufficient enough size to push the market bid/offer around.
Who are the major market movers (MM's)? Jeremy Siegel shows on page 249 of "Stocks for the long Run" that a major class of MM's are the Index arbitragers. EG Each day the constant movement between the upper and lower arbitrage limits drives the prices on the DJIA.
If you are seeking a more unofficial name, I have heard the term Whale - especially in conjunction with digital currency.
What is a Bitcoin Whale?
If you trade bitcoins or altcoins, you’ve probably heard the term “whale” before as the name is used to describe big cryptocurrency holders. The term is used this way because whales are the biggest creatures in the ocean and they can overpower smaller fish with their large size. Bitcoin whales are looked at similarly because their extensive holdings can affect large schools of smaller traders with just a few successful trading methods. Additionally the smaller the market and less liquidity means whales can devastate smaller altcoin markets way more easily than bitcoin. We also assume that Satoshi Nakamoto may be the biggest whale of all as the creator allegedly owns 1 million bitcoins.
There are a few terms that might be applicable here.
"Market Mover" is a term applied to someone who buys/sells significant positions that blast through several levels of buyers/sellers and, thus, moving the market. This will vary from company-to-company depending upon the liquidity in the market.
When a massive position has been taken, the activity is called cornering the market.
Some stock markets have mandatory reporting requirements for any "significant shareholder" or "substantial shareholder" that owns more than a certain percentage of a company. In Australia, for listed companies, anybody with 5% of a company must disclose within 2 business days of acquiring that interest and also provide notifications of any change of 1% or more. In USA, major shareholdings require a Schedule 13D disclosure within 10 days to be filed with the SEC at the 5% beneficial ownershp and 1% changes.