Bear Trap

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DEFINITION of 'Bear Trap'

A false signal that the rising trend of a stock or index has reversed when it has not. A bear trap prompts traders to place shorts on the stock or index, since they expect the underlying to decline in value. Instead of declining further, the investment stays flat, or slightly recovers.

BREAKING DOWN 'Bear Trap'

Investors should always consider a stop-loss order when executing trades, in order to avoid the heavy losses that can come out of a bear trap trade. Most investors who fall into a bear trap do so early in the trading session, and analyzing opening bell trends should indicate how often a particular investment falls in value early in the day, compared to later on.

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