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What are Blocks, Splits, and Sweeps?
What are Blocks, Splits, and Sweeps?

An explanation of the different order types including block orders, split orders, and sweeps.

Andrew Hiesinger avatar
Written by Andrew Hiesinger
Updated over a week ago


Retail traders will often use sweeps to see what “smart-money“ is trading. The advantage of using Quant Data is that our algorithmic system will analyze millions of orders to filter what matters and display it on the feed in the dashboard.

Often times options order flow can indicate urgency, as these large financial institutions and institutional traders are taking sized positions in a hurry as seen by the consolidation of smaller orders. This allows us to detect the anticipation of a large implied move in a security by one of these investors. Using this information retail traders can better gauge market direction.

What is a Block Order?

Block orders are large orders mainly made by institutional investors. Block orders are orders of more than 10,000 shares of a security. Often times these block orders will be broken up to lessen the effect it has on the market. Our algorithmic system detects these orders and presents them to you in real-time.

Block orders are privately negotiated orders that were created for institutions with large capital. However, retail traders can still make these trades, although it is very uncommon.

At Quant Data dashboard we identify the block trades that matter using our proprietary algorithmic filters and display them on the options order flow feed.

What is a Split Order?

Split orders are single exchange orders that print as numerous individual small order sizes. Split orders function the same way as sweep orders. The only difference is that split orders are filled on a single exchange whereas sweep orders are filled across multiple exchanges.

What is a Sweep Order?

Sweeps are multi-exchange orders that print as numerous individual orders before being consolidated into one “sweep” on our dashboard. Using our platform you can see the true size of these orders that are disguised.

These sweep orders are displayed as multiple smaller orders on the tape that are executed seconds apart. Due to the nature of the tape these smaller orders are often ignored, when in reality the consolidation of these smaller orders add up to major size.

In the graphic above it visually depicts how we consolidate these multi-exchange orders to make consolidated sweeps.

On the Quant Data dashboard we show you the consolidated order flow. Sweep orders are often used to speedily execute large size which is an indicator of urgency as these institutional traders are trying to enter quickly in anticipation of a large implied move.

I have not signed up to Quant Data, How do I?

If you are interested in accessing our dashboard and being able to see our proprietary algorithmic filters that send the order flow in an easy to understand manner, feel free to sign up by clicking here. Click on Learn More if you want to learn more about what we offer.

Do you need further assistance?

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Quant Data team at, or via our live chat located on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. We are available on the live chat between 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM EST, Monday-Friday.

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