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Is Trading Gaps Profitable? Unearthing the Hidden Truth

Is Trading Gaps Profitable

The world of trading offers numerous strategies. Gap trading is one of these techniques that has received significant attention for its potential gains. But the question lingers, how profitable are they, and more importantly, is gap trading a sound strategy?

Is Trading Gaps Profitable? Profitability of Gap Trading

The most pressing question surrounding gap trading is its profitability. To answer this, one must understand that gap trading, like any other trading strategy, can offer substantial returns if done right. 

The key lies in correctly identifying the type of gap and acting accordingly. Take the example of Apple Inc.’s share price gap in July 2020. The stock price closed at $361.78 on July 24th, and gapped up to open at $374.84 on July 27th. 

An investor using the gap and go strategy could have purchased the asset at the open and earned a tidy profit as the stock continued its upward momentum.

However, not all gap trades play out this favorably. Therefore, it’s important to have a comprehensive understanding, a clear plan of action, and sound risk management strategies.

gap trading

Understanding Gap Trading

Gap trading refers to the method of buying or selling assets based on gaps in price during market activity. 

These gaps typically occur when the opening price of an asset diverges significantly from its previous closing price. The span between these two prices forms the basis of gap trading.

Different types of gaps exist, and their impact varies. Common gaps happen regularly without specific reasons. Breakaway gaps occur at the end of an established pattern and might signal the beginning of a new trend. 

Continuation or runaway gaps surface in the middle of a price pattern, suggesting a ‘continued trend.’ Exhaustion gaps are a sign of the tail end of a price pattern, signaling a possible reversal. 

The key lies in identifying these distinct types, determining their potential, and trading based on these insights.

Identifying gaps in trading charts requires a keen eye and a good understanding of the market trends. Traders look for significant jumps or dips in prices that are not covered by any trading activity. These gaps often lead to profitable opportunities.

Gap Trading Strategies

When it comes to effective gap trading, there are several strategies that traders use. The choice largely depends on market conditions and the trader’s skill, experience, and preference.

One popular strategy is gap and go trading. This strategy positions a trader to take advantage of the price momentum following a large price gap. It banks on the premise that the price will continue in the direction of the gap for a short time after the market opens.

Another is the gap fading strategy. Here, traders act with the notion that the price will reverse its direction after the gap and will attempt to fill the gap. In other words, they are ‘fading the gap’, betting on the price to revert to its original level.

Risks Associated with Gap Trading

Despite its potential for profit, gap trading is not devoid of risk. The main risk lies in guessing the market’s direction wrong. 

An investor who expects a gap fill and places a trade accordingly may lose money if the gap does not fill or goes in the opposite direction.

It’s also worth noting that many gaps result from after-hours news that can impact the direction of the market significantly. Traders must have robust risk management strategies to guard against such sudden, unforeseen changes.

Mitigating these risks often involves sensible position sizing and wise use of stop-loss orders. Traders must curb the temptation to over-invest in gap trades and should always be ready to cut losses if the trade does not pan out as expected.

gap trading

Frequently Asked Question

What is gap trading? 

Gap trading revolves around the gaps in price that occurs between a prior close and the subsequent open in trading sessions.

What are the types of trading gaps? 

Four main types exist, namely common, breakaway, continuation or runaway, and exhaustion gaps.

How to become a successful gap trader? 

Success in gap trading requires a solid understanding of the different types of gaps, effective trading strategies, and robust risk management.

Is gap trading profitable? 

Yes, gap trading can be profitable when done right. However, like all trading strategies, it carries risk.

What risks are associated with gap trading? 

The primary risk comes from correctly predicting the direction of the market following the gap. Other risks include impacts from after-hours news and events that can influence asset prices.


Gap trading can be a lucrative strategy for those who understand its mechanics. It demands a comprehensive understanding of market trends, the ability to identify different types of gaps, and the know-how to deploy an effective trading strategy based on these gaps.

Before trading gaps, ensure you have a solid grasp of the techniques, know how to manage your risk, and are patient enough to wait for the right opportunity. Be open to learning and refining your strategy over time.

Gap trading is not for everyone. But for those who master it, the profits can be significant. To trade gaps profitably, equip yourself with pertinent knowledge, then enter the market with confidence.