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Institutional investors, including mutual fund companies and pension funds, who trade large blocks of securities among themselves are operating in what's called the fourth market.
Usually, the transaction are handled through electronic communications networks (ECNs).
Among the appeals of using an ECN are reduced trading costs, the ability to trade after hours, and the fact that offers to buy and sell are matched anonymously.Yahoo Finance - Cite This Source - This Definition
- Browse Related Terms: Electronic communications network (ECN), Fourth market, Instinet, National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System (NASDAQ), NYSE Arca, Off-board, Secondary market, Third market