Market Manipulation

priceSeries attempts to expose market manipulation techniques to empower the retail customers so that the financial industry and regulatory bodies can promote a fair and transparent market environment, and reduce the vulnerability of less-experienced traders to fraudulent practices. This knowledge can ultimately contribute to a more resilient and trustworthy financial system.

Market manipulation refers to the intentional and deceptive activities that individuals or entities undertake to artificially influence the price or trading volume of a financial instrument, such as stocks, bonds, commodities, or currencies. The goal of market manipulation is typically to create a false or misleading appearance of market activity, impacting the perception of supply and demand dynamics.

Several forms of market manipulation exist, we discuss a few here:

  • Artificial Price Movements: Market players might initiate large trades or use techniques to drive the price momentarily in a specific direction, intentionally triggering the stop-loss orders placed at those levels.
  • Dark Pool Trading: Dark pools are private exchanges or trading venues where large institutional investors and traders can buy or sell securities without revealing their intentions to the public market. These off-exchange trading platforms allow for the execution of large block trades while maintaining confidentiality and minimizing the impact on market prices.
  • Spoofing: Traders engage in spoofing by placing large buy or sell orders with the intention of canceling them before they are executed. The goal is to create a false impression of demand or supply, influencing other traders to follow suit and move the market in a specific direction.
  • Stop loss Hunting: Also known as stop running or stop-loss triggering, refers to a trading practice where market participants intentionally drive the price of a financial asset to trigger stop-loss orders placed by other traders. The primary goal of stop-loss hunting is to create a rapid price movement that hits these predetermined stop-loss levels, causing the triggered orders to execute.

Regulatory bodies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States, have strict rules and regulations in place to detect and prosecute instances of market manipulation. Market manipulation is illegal because it undermines the integrity and fairness of financial markets, erodes investor confidence, and can lead to significant financial losses for unsuspecting market participants.

Traders and investors should remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities to regulatory authorities to help maintain the integrity of the financial markets. Additionally, staying informed about market regulations and being cautious of unusual trading patterns can contribute to a safer and more transparent market environment.

How does Market Manipulation impact the Retail Traders?

Market manipulation can significantly impact retail traders in several ways:

  • Price Distortion: Manipulative activities, such as spoofing, pump-and-dump schemes, or creating artificial supply or demand, can distort the natural price discovery process. Retail traders relying on accurate price information might make decisions based on false signals, leading to losses or missed opportunities.
  • Losses and Volatility: Manipulative actions can cause sudden and extreme price movements, leading to increased market volatility. Retail traders who enter trades based on normal market conditions might face unexpected losses due to abrupt price changes caused by manipulation.
  • Stop Loss Hunting: Certain manipulative practices, like stop loss hunting, involve intentionally triggering stop orders placed by retail traders. This can lead to forced liquidation of positions and losses for retail traders whose stop orders are executed due to artificial price movements.
  • Reduced Confidence: Market manipulation can erode retail traders' confidence in the fairness and integrity of the market. If traders perceive the market as being manipulated, they might become hesitant to participate or may alter their trading strategies, impacting their overall engagement in the market.
  • Unequal Information Access: Manipulative activities often involve access to information or strategies not available to retail traders. This information asymmetry can put retail traders at a disadvantage, affecting their ability to make informed decisions and compete on an equal footing with more informed market participants.
  • Market Efficiency and Trust: Manipulation undermines market efficiency and fairness, affecting the trust retail traders have in the market. It may deter retail traders from engaging in trading activities, ultimately impacting market liquidity and efficiency.
To mitigate the impact of market manipulation, retail traders can:

  • Stay Informed: Keep abreast of market news, trends, and developments to discern between normal market fluctuations and potentially manipulative activities.
  • Use Independent Sources: Rely on Independent information providers like priceSeries and use independent information to manage your trades.
  • Implement Risk Management: Set appropriate stop-loss levels and position sizes to limit potential losses.

While market manipulation can pose challenges for retail traders, being vigilant, informed, and employing risk management techniques can help mitigate its impact on trading activities.

US stocks that are most likely to be Manipulated

There have been numerous cases of alleged stock manipulation over the years, but specific instances often involve legal investigations and lawsuits, and the outcomes can vary. According to a Business Standard article in Jun 2010, the following stocks are most likely to face manipulation by High-Frequency Traders (HFT).

Citigroup (C)Ford Motor Company (F)
Bank of America (BAC)General Electric (GE)
Intel Corp. (INTC)Pfizer (PFE)

BPS Trading Strategy

BPS Strategy

The Buy, Profit, and Sell (BPS) is a trading strategy that provides a structured approach used by traders to enter, manage, and exit trades based on predefined price levels. This strategy involves three key zones: Buy zone, Profit zone, and Sell zone, each serving specific purposes in managing trades effectively.

priceSeries platform analyzes thousands of data points to identify these price zones and help traders make informed decisions accordingly. The strategy allows traders to maintain a structured approach, optimizing trade entries, managing profits, and mitigating potential losses effectively.