Specialist

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A specialist in the New York Stock Exchange is a firm that stockbrokers visit in order to buy and sell stocks. Each specialist firm is responsible for a certain number of stocks, and no other specialist can trade in those stocks. Specialists are responsible for "maintaining a fair and orderly market" in the stocks they are authorized to handle. This means they sometimes have to buy the stock of one of those companies when no one else wants to buy and everyone wants to sell. There are no specialist firms in the NASDAQ Stock Market. As electronic stock trading becomes more dominant, the importance of specialists is decreasing, and they may eventually disappear.