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Over 700 finance terms, Shmooped to perfection.
A member of a stock exchange who is responsible for maintaining an orderly market in a particular stock or stocks that are traded on the exchange. The specialist is required to provide liquidity through purchasing shares when there are no other buyers and selling when there are no other sellers.
The specialist maintains a book that shows all limit and stop orders for the stock, which, yes, is considered inside information—but specialists are specifically exempted from the normal insider trading rules as long as the trades made on inside information are to maintain an orderly market.
Order in the market!