Swing Trading is a short-term trading method that can be used when trading stocks and options. Whereas Day Trading positions last less than one day, Swing Trading positions typically last two to six days, but may last as long as two weeks.
The goal of swing trading is to identify the overall trend and then capture gains with swing trading within that trend. Technical Analysis is often used to help traders take advantage of the current trend in a security and hopefully improve their trades. Day trading and swing trading involve specific risks and commission costs that are different and higher than the typical investment strategies.
Most swing traders work with the main trend of the chart. If the security is in an uptrend, the online trader will “go long” that security by buying shares, call options, or futures contracts. If the overall trend is down, then the trader could short shares or futures contracts, or buy put options.
Many times, neither a bullish nor a bearish trend is present, but the security is moving in a somewhat predictable pattern between parallel resistance and support areas. When the market moves up and then pulls back, the highest point reached before it pulls back is the resistance. As the market continues up again, the lowest point reached before it climbs back is the support. There are swing trading opportunities in this case too, with the trader taking a long position near the support area and taking a short position near the resistance area.