DEFINITION of 'Fighting The Tape'

The action of placing a trade or trades that go against the ticker tape. Fighting the tape is viewed as a contrarian stance, as traders who choose to trade against the tape are taking positions which oppose the general market perception. Traders who buy when the rest of the market is selling might say they are buying when there's "blood in the streets."

BREAKING DOWN 'Fighting The Tape'

Someone who is buying stocks while the overall market is falling is said to be fighting the tape. Many traders say that fighting the tape is a cardinal sin. In volatile markets, however, choosing to fight the tape can lead to profitable trades, since such markets can make directional changes very quickly and abruptly. Conversely, traders can also lose their shirts if the market continues to move against them for a prolonged period.

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