High frequency trading is an automated trading platform used by large investment banks, hedge funds and institutional investors which utilizes powerful computers to transact a large number of orders at extremely high speeds. These high frequency trading platforms allow traders to execute millions of orders and scan multiple markets and exchanges in a matter of seconds, thus giving the institutions that use the platforms a huge advantage in the open market.
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The systems use complex algorithms to analyze the markets and are able to spot emerging trends in a fraction of a second. By being able to recognize shifts in the marketplace, the trading systems send hundreds of baskets of stocks out into the marketplace at bid-ask spreads that are advantageous to the traders. By essentially anticipating and beating the trends to the market place,