What Is A Bull Trap In Trading And How To Avoid It

If a stock price manages to keep climbing throughout the day, the trend is most likely solid and reliable. Day trading can certainly be lucrative, but the field is full of traps that can cause you to lose money. Thus, before you begin trading stocks, it’s important to know how to recognize such dangers. When prices fall below a certain point, institutions can buy back their shares and send prices higher once again. At this point, the bear trap trading rest of the market starts buying again for fear of missing out , catapulting the price higher once again. Although short selling is a good strategy, it is essential to pay attention to the signals, to detect if you are before a Bear Trap or not. If you want to be sure that a declining signal is real or a fake one, you should watch the trends of that stock closely and study how it has behaved in recent events or similar situations.

bear trap trading

The S&P 500 recorded 5 bull traps in the last two bear markets, compared to 3 bear traps in the 1991 – 2000 bull market and none in 2003 – 2007. The 8 indexes measured recorded a total of 53 bull traps in the last two bear markets (an average of 3.31 per bear market). An interesting result, considering that bull markets endure far longer than bear markets. I am constantly looking for signs of bull and bear traps because they can be very good trading opportunities. I am not a classic trend-follower and, thus, I wait for those trend reversal signals to catch a new trend early on. Another strategy is to get out of bear traps as soon as you discover them.

Use Volume And Emotion To Tackle Topping Patterns

The chart above shows Vertex Pharma with a Multiple Top Breakout in October 2010. The breakout X-Column exceeded the prior four highs by one box. This breakout did not last long as the stock reversed with a decline back into the congestion zone . The lows of this zone ultimately held and the stock forged a Double Top Breakout on the next upturn. Bull and Bear Traps can sometimes fail and evolve into catapults – kind of like a double trap. A Bullish Catapult forms with a Triple Top Breakout, a pullback into the pattern and then a Double Top Breakout. A one-box Triple Top Breakout and a pullback into the pattern qualify as Bull Trap.

How do trappers kill animals?

Stuck in traps, animals can die of exhaustion, exposure, predation, starvation, dehydration, shock, drowning, injury or blood loss. Animals that manage to stay alive until being found are often brutally killed through drowning, suffocation, beatings or have their chest crushed by a foot or knee.

A Bear Trap is one of those primary traps in the market which a trader should be familiar with. Take our options trading course to learn more about trading options. Commodity and historical index data provided by Pinnacle Data Corporation. Unless otherwise indicated, all data is delayed by 15 minutes. The information provided by, Inc. is not investment advice. The Definitive Guide to Point and Figure, by Jeremy du Plessis, lives up to its title and is required reading for the Chartered Market Technician exam. Chartists can learn about 1-box P&F patterns/counts, 3-box patterns/counts and various trading strategies. Thomas Dorsey’s Point & Figure Charting examines the basic ideas and key patterns of P&F charts. Dorsey keeps his analysis simple and straightforward; as a relative strength disciple, he devotes a complete chapter to relative strength concepts using P&F charts. These concepts are tied in with market indicators and sector rotation tools to provide investors with all they need to construct a portfolio.

Silk Road Day

When such strong bullish sentiment is seen in the markets, some traders try to make a quick buck by trading the trend. Most of these traders have shortstops, small holding time and retail in nature. These sales, combined with short sellers re-establishing their short positions at the higher prices, may send stocks back into their pre-rally downtrend. If you see a a break down in price with low volume, don’t play that move. It’s not enough selling pressure to indicate a problem.That’s a serious bear trap trading clue that a bear trap may be in place. You need increasing volume during the change of a trend in order for it to be valid, and feel confident. But remember that technical indicators are just that—indicators—not guarantees that a price will move a certain way. Typically, with technical analysis, you don’t know for sure whether it’s a true reversal or a bull trap until after the fact. That’s why many chart watchers suggest charting multiple time frames to add context to your views.

The red trend lines at the bottom of the example show two oscillators, the MACD and RSI. Both of them are trending noticeably upward before the sharp price break. Usually, when the market moves forcefully higher or lower, you might notice high volumes of trading accompanying this movement. When big players (institutions, wales, etc.) want to fill their buy orders at critical price levels, they usually push the price a little bit in opposite direction to generate fake supply. Sentiment analysis works on every market (e.g. Forex, Stock, Cryptocurrency, etc.) So, you should know market dynamics good enough to understand its sentiment. Also, many of them open long positions to compensate for their losses and cause the price to go higher. For a trap like this to exist, the price decline should necessarily be either 20% or more from an all-time high over two months. The information in this site does not contain investment advice or an investment recommendation, or an offer of or solicitation for transaction in any financial instrument. Discover the range of markets and learn how they work – with IG Academy’s online course. Following the sell-off, there were a couple of days where the market continued to be bearish to sideways.

Bear Trap Example Chart And Pattern

Bear and bull traps are one of the most common trading pitfalls when trading cryptocurrency. Thankfully, it’s easy to minimize losses due to traps if a trader has the right cryptocurrency trading strategy and mindset. A bear is an investor or trader in the financial markets who believes that the price of a security is about to decline. Bears may also believe that the overall direction of a financial market may be in decline. A bearish investment strategy attempts to profit from the decline in price of an asset and a short position is often executed to implement this strategy. A bear trap is a trading pattern characterized by an asset’s price falling temporarily before eventually rebounding. Bear traps require a group of traders to implement and are initiated by the group selling large quantities of the same asset at one time. This signals to other investors that the asset’s price is likely to decline, and they too begin to sell, resulting in an actual price drop. Once the price of the asset has fallen sufficiently, the group that initiated the procedure are able to repurchase the asset at a much lower price than they sold it for.

What happens if you get caught in a bear trap?

Bear traps are designed to catch and hold the leg of a bear, not cut it off. Your leg may be badly bruised, but it should not be severely injured or amputated. Attempt to move your foot and toes to determine if you still have circulation and to check for tendon and muscle damage.

In our example, many traders would have looked at the swing low and then entered short once the level broke. In illiquid markets where not as many players are involved, bear traps occur more often. If you do trade a short position, set a stop loss and also understand your risk. Determine how much of your portfolio you can risk based on your tolerance, and size your position accordingly.

Do Professional Traders Use Technical Analysis?

A bear trap is set, intentionally or unintentionally, when these small or retail traders get caught in a sharp reversal of the bull trend. This sharp reversal might be due to the profit booking by institutional investors, or a new fund entering the market to squeeze the weak longs . The best way to stop bear traps when trading is to first off know candlestick patterns and support and resistance levels. Also, have mental stops in place before taking a trade, and stick to them. Bear traps are relative to your trading time frames so look for reversals on specific time frame for your specific trade plan.

To avoid such a situation, traders do technical analysis using different trading tools, such as market indicators, volume indicators, Fibonacci retracements, etc. Predicting the trap helps amateur traders remain out of such tricky situations. Short selling is considered a risky venture in trading and can lead to significant losses. However, if someone still wants to sell short, they must use a stop-loss order to limit the loss on a position. In bear trap trading, mature investors buy assets from their novice counterparts and sell them as soon as the market status reverses and turns bullish. Trapping the amateurs, therefore, becomes a profitable opportunity for them. This tricky scenario created intentionally by a group of mature investors or institutions is called a bear trap. It tricks traders to sell short to minimize losses and lures them to take long positions anticipating the downward trend to continue, though it never happens. The rising demand for a bear trap stock increases the selling pressure, affecting the buying chart. This imbalance caused due to increased demand and lowered supply shows a negative market trend.

How To Escape A Bull Trap

But when the market changes direction and the volume is low, it could be a trap. Bear traps happen when there is a sharp decline in a financial instrument that lures investors into opening short sales. These short sales lose value in a reversal when short sellers are forced to go long to cover. Short sellers risk maximizing their losses when they bet against a security or index and that security or index rises. The next two on the above chart are both moving average bear traps. Moving averages can work as support or resistance when they are horizontal. Alternatively, as trend line support when they are moving upwards. In this example, the moving averages are horizontal and are at the forefront of the bear traps. Illustrated below is another bear trap example with a stock. The chart below is for the agricultural products and services retailer Agrium, Inc. .

bear trap trading

Traders who intended to take advantage of the breakout are trapped in a bear trap. A bull trap is a technical trade pattern that reflects a sudden but temporary reversal of a decline in the stock value in the market. A bear trap is the false reversal of an uptrend, making novice traders short sell their positions at lower prices. As we know, in forex there are many fake-outs which are perfect bear traps. Basically, a break of a support level that doesn’t quite materialize.


Leverage can work against you as well as for you, and can lead to large losses as well as gains. You should only trade with funds that you can afford to lose. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Traders may also trade the retrace rather than trading breakouts. They can sell when prices come back up and test the support level that was once broken. If it holds the ground and turns into resistance, it is a perfect confirmation of the breakout. For example; price will be looking to breakout lower through a major support level, but after moving through the level it will quickly snap back in the other direction. Before talking about what a short squeeze or bear trap is, we first need to understand the concept of short selling a stock.

  • However, traps are not perfect signals and may instead evolve into catapults.
  • Even for those who are familiar with the markets, there are certain traps which they must avoid.
  • If you had shorted after the trend break or the triangle breakdown, you would have gotten yourself into a bear trap!

The price has pulled back down, pierced the moving averages and then reversed back up, pushing the bullish trend higher. If you went in on the long side once the piercing took place, then you would end up with three losing trades. If you waited until candlesticks closed, then you’d save yourself some money and probably make some on the way up. Behavioral finance can also be a valuable tool when trading bear markets. Understanding human behavior and the psychology of markets can go an exceptionally long way in trading bear traps. People are emotional beings by nature, and markets move based on forces of extreme and often irrational sentiments.


Those traders who wait for the candlestick to close, see this as a confirmation. But, often we should get another confirmation that the support has been broken and wait for another bearish candlestick. If that happens, then the support level has definitely been broken. The Aroon indicator was touched on earlier and is a good first step to analyze how legitimate a trend is. In other words, this indicator can give an investor tools to see if they are trading a genuine trend reversal or a bear trap. The Aroon indicator signals when there is a strong uptrend or downtrend. Through its upper and lower lines, it also detects how genuine a trend reversal is. Typically, the indicator analyzes 25 periods of data and is based on timing that compares the last high to the last low. The Aroon indicator operates on a range, with 0 meaning that the asset has not made a new high since the start of the period. The 30 and 70 levels usually show investors that the last high or low occurred in the most recent third of the time period.

How long do bear traps last?

When a creature gets trapped, durability slowly depletes at a rate of one unit per eight seconds. With a total durability of one hundred this takes some time (800 seconds or 13.33 minutes) to let go, unit can also be repaired with a captive in its jaws.

Once the stock drops, investors jump back into the market, and the stock prices rise with the increase in demand. A bear trap is often triggered by a decline that induces market participants to open short sales, which then lose value in a reversal when participants must cover the shorts. Big bull traps led to big bear traps for three years straight before finally bottoming in early 2003. Behind the pseudonym, I’m a digital media executive and global remote work leader with a decade of content experience and excellence. Here, I explore my newfound passions pertaining to privacy, finance, economics, politics, cryptography, property rights, and other libertarian-esque views. It hasn’t yet clicked for me as to how to put anything to use, but I consider it my current rabbit hole I can’t yet dig out of. Through all of these lenses, I seek to produce content that is educational and entertaining, and I thank you sincerely for taking the time to read what I have to say. Please follow me on Twitter and feel free to drop me a line if you would like to work together.

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