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DEFINITION of 'Stop Hunting'

A strategy that attempts to force some market participants out of their positions by driving the price of an asset to a level where many individuals have chosen to set their stop-loss orders. The triggering of many stop losses generally leads to high volatility and can present a unique opportunity for investors who seek to trade in this environment.

BREAKING DOWN 'Stop Hunting'

Understanding that the price of an asset can experience sharp moves when many stop losses are triggered can be useful when seeking potential trading opportunities. For example, assume that ABC Company's stock is trading at $50.36 and looks as though it may be heading lower. It is possible that many traders will place their stop losses just below $50, at $49.99, so that they can still hold onto the shares and benefit from an upward move while also limiting the downside. If the price falls below $50, traders expect a flood of sell orders as many stop losses are triggered. This will then will push the price lower and give some traders the opportunity to profit from the decline.

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