painting the tape - Investment & Finance Definition
Manipulating the market for a security by reporting fictitious trades on the consolidated trading tape of an exchange. These trades are not submitted for trade matching and clearing purposes. Those intending to commit fraud engage in this activity to increase the apparent trading volume of a security or to affect the reported closing price. The term is left over from the day when a paper-based ticker carried stock trade information. However, the tactic can still be used with electronic trading systems. In that case, traders can buy or sell a security to create the illusion of high trading activity and to attract other traders in order to push up the price.