What is Swing Trading?

What is Swing Trading?

Traders worldwide use a variety of different trading strategies to capture the price movements of an asset. One of the most preferred short-term strategies is swing trading. It is a unique trading method that combines the elements of day trading and a buy-and-hold approach. Continue reading to find out all about swing trading, how it works and its various benefits and drawbacks.
09 Apr, 2024 10:00am

What is Swing Trading? 

Swing trading is a trading strategy that aims to capture the price movements of a financial asset in the short- to medium-term time frame. Unlike intraday trading which involves positions being opened and closed within a single trading day, swing traders hold their positions for several days or weeks to capitalise on price swings within an established trend. Traders use this approach to profit from both upward and downward price fluctuations. 


How Does Swing Trading Work? 

Now that you’re aware of the meaning of swing trading, let’s take a look at how it works. 


Swing trading involves identifying and exploiting price patterns and trends. Traders generally use a wide range of technical analysis tools, such as candlestick patterns and technical indicators, to determine entry and exit points. By analysing historical price data and market trends, they can anticipate future price movements and enter into positions accordingly.


Once a swing trader identifies a favourable entry point, they initiate a position and set predefined exit points to lock in profits or minimise losses. Both of these entry and exit points are often based on technical indicators or support and resistance levels. Here is a hypothetical example to help you understand how swing trading actually works. 


Assume you wish to use the swing trading strategy to trade in a stock. The current market price of the stock is Rs. 2,200 per share. Using technical analysis tools, you find out that the nearest major support level is Rs. 2,100 and the nearest major resistance level is Rs. 2,300. 


You wait until the stock price drops to its support level of Rs. 2,100 per share. At this point, after confirming that the stock will bounce back after testing its support level, you enter into a long position in the stock by purchasing the stock at Rs. 2,110 per share. 


Over the next five weeks, the stock price rises from Rs. 2,110 to Rs. 2,280 per share. Since the stock is near its resistance level, you choose to square off your position by selling the stock. The total profit you earn from this swing trade is Rs. 170 per share (Rs. 2,280 - Rs. 2,110). 


What are the Advantages of Swing Trading? 

Swing trading offers several advantages to traders. Let’s explore some of the key benefits of this trading strategy. 


  • Flexibility 

Unlike intraday trading, this strategy does not require constant monitoring of the markets. Traders can execute their strategies at their own pace and with less time commitment, making the strategy suitable for those with busy schedules.


  • Potential for Substantial Gains

Swing trading offers traders the opportunity to achieve significant profits within a relatively short time frame by enabling them to capture short- to medium-term price movements in an asset. 


  • Risk Management

Swing trading strategies often give traders the room to incorporate several risk management measures, ranging from position sizing and stop-loss orders to trailing stops. This enables traders to mitigate potential losses and protect their trading capital.


  • Simplified Trading 

Swing trading strategies simplify the trading process instead of complicating it. Traders can take up positions by simply relying on technical analysis techniques alone rather than spending time and effort on a fundamental analysis of the asset. 


What are the Disadvantages of Swing Trading? 

Although swing trading has its advantages, it also has a few drawbacks. Here’s a quick overview of some of them. 


  • Market Volatility

Swing trading relies on price fluctuations, making it susceptible to market volatility. Sudden and unpredictable market movements can result in unexpected losses for swing traders.


  • Overnight Risk

Swing trading involves holding positions for several days. This exposes traders to overnight and weekend risk, including gap openings due to unforeseen events or market news.


  • Missed Opportunities

Since swing trading focuses on capturing short- to medium-term price movements, traders may inadvertently miss longer-term trends that could potentially be more lucrative. 


Swing Trading Strategies: An Overview 

Swing traders often use a plethora of different strategies to capture short-term price movements. Here’s a glimpse of a few of the most commonly used swing trading strategies. 


  • Trend Following 

This strategy involves identifying and trading in the direction of the current market trend. Traders often use trendlines, moving averages and trend-following indicators to determine the trend's direction and plot entry and exit points.


  • Breakout Trading

Breakout trading involves determining key support and resistance levels. Once these levels are determined trades are placed when the price breaks out. Traders capitalise on the momentum generated by the breakout and ride the trend until it weakens, at which point they exit their positions.


  • Pullback Trading

Pullback trading involves entering trades when there is a temporary price correction within a larger trend. Traders using this strategy generally wait for the price to pull back to a support level or a moving average before entering a trade. Traders then square off their positions once the larger trend resumes and their profit targets are achieved.



Swing trading is a flexible trading strategy with the potential to generate good returns if implemented properly. This makes it one of the most popular choices among traders looking to capitalise on short- to medium-term price movements in assets. 


However, as with all trading strategies, swing trading also carries a set of risks. As a trader, you need to properly understand all of the risks that the method poses and ensure that you use strict risk management measures to protect your investment capital from adverse market movements. 


The Research 360 platform of Motilal Oswal offers all of the features and tools you need to make swing trading easier and more effective. With the Screeners feature of the platform, you can filter stocks based on predefined criteria, enabling you to find potential swing trading opportunities quickly and effortlessly. This makes the process of swing trading stock selection a lot more effortless. So, sign up for the Research 360 platform today and improve your swing trading outcomes.



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