Adrian Manz’s Gap Trading Strategy for ThinkOrSwim
This is a mean reversion gap trading strategy that is promoted by Dr. Adrian Manz of Trader Insight (see an example video by Manz here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oudRj-Vcv0Q). A client of mine was interested in developing some tools to trade this strategy on ThinkOrSwim, and so I was able to work on this project and get several tools created to make it really easy. After looking into it more, I found the strategy to be pretty intriguing and very different from how I’ve traded gaps in the past, so I thought it might be worth my readers’ time to take a look at it. This is a complete set, which includes the strategy script itself, along with a custom scanner to find the gaps each day, and indicators and columns to help sort and evaluate the gaps.
What It Is
Scanner: helps you find stocks that are gapping way outside their normal bounds, increasing the probability of an immediate mean reversion move that you can fade.
Watchlist columns: these help you sort through and quickly analyze the best gap trading strategy candidates that are likely to have an immediate mean reversion.
Indicator: helps you find past and current entries on the chart and study how individual stocks perform and respond to this kind of gap trading strategy.
Strategy: Plots entries, exits, and (optionally) stops, on the chart (intraday charts only). The setups are based on the daily chart according to Adrian Manz’s rules, but the actual entries are done on whatever intraday timeframe you prefer to trade. The entry system is my own implementation of the gap trading strategy, which is to enter on the first intraday bar that is outside the standard deviation boundary and also outside of VWAP, and then it takes target once the price retreats back to VWAP. You can use this particular strategy if you like, or manage the trades on your own however you prefer. Adrian Manz uses a more price-action-based entry where he enters on a bar break in the direction of the fade, and takes targets based on support and resistance levels. However, S&R is very hard to code accurately, and I wanted to at least include one mechanical way of implementing the system, so the VWAP target makes sense on a mean reversion strategy like this. And this method seems to work well in my own tests.
Why You Want It
Trading is a game of probability and risk management. This strategy specifically addresses the probability issue, because there is always a reversion to the mean… statistically it’s just going to happen. This strategy helps you find the extreme conditions that are even more likely to result in an immediate mean reversion move.
How It Works
The scanner finds any stocks that meet the trading strategy’s criteria for being likely mean reversion candidates, and then the custom quote watchlist columns help you sort through them quickly and review the charts to see which ones you want to take a position on.
The indicator package helps you visually see previous setups that happened on your charts, as well as today’s signal, by plotting the unique standard deviation lines and signal arrows whenever an entry condition is triggered.
With the PreMarket Gap Scanners for ThinkOrSwim, you’ll be able to find and trade the best in-play stocks for the day before most traders even know what they are. Like to trade during the pre market hours? Easy. Want to trade in-play stocks in the first few minutes after the open? Check. Want to add gapping stocks to your watchlist to find continuation plays later in the afternoon. Done-and-done. This set of scans brings you the highest quality, highest volume, highest volatility stocks for the day before the market even opens.
What you get:
Custom-programmed premarket gap scanner that finds TRUE gaps. (This is defined as low of prior day > last premarket price, or high of prior day < last premarket price). The built in gap lists can’t do this! The built in lists only find small changes from the CLOSE of the prior day which don’t mean as much for gap trading!
Two (2) custom-programmed premarket gap scanners that automatically look for PRO gaps. These are gaps forming in the opposite direction from the previous day’s movement (i.e., a gap down coming from a previous green day, or a gap up coming from a previous red day).
Two (2) custom-programmed regular trading hours scanners that narrow the built in gap lists down to only the most high-quality gaps. This scanner takes the existing gap lists in ThinkOrSwim (that work only after the market has opened) and weeds out the garbage, narrowing the list down to only the best gaps that are likely to form great setups during the day.
Why you want it:
Avoid hours of analysis … get a custom list of quality gaps delivered to you every morning without any work!
Allows you to log in 15-20 minutes before the market opens, grab your watchlist, and then get back to important stuff like making your morning coffee!
Whether you trade with ThinkOrSwim or just use it for its free data, charting, and scanning capabilities, these add-on scanner scripts will make your life easier!
Buy it once and use if forever! I’m making my own scanners available to you without any subscriptions or memberships. This allows you to keep more of your monthly trading income for the things that matter in your life.
How to get it:
It’s simple! ThinkOrSwim has a great “sharing” feature that lets users send each other their custom layouts, scans, indicators, and so forth.
I’ll send you an email with special ThinkOrSwim sharing links that will automatically import the scans into your system.
Hi guys, I’m Josiah, and I’m a trader/programmer from the Nashville, TN area. I recently finished up both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Computer Information Systems at a local university and have been self-employed since then, trading and developing projects with Ruby on Rails on the side. Since I was already familiar with a certain amount of programming, and had an active interest in trading and investing, learning ThinkScript — the scripting language for the ThinkOrSwim platform — made a lot of sense, and helped me develop a platform configuration that really streamlined my trading workflow.
About the ThinkScripts
These basically came about because I got so frustrated with the limited built-in capabilities in TOS, and standalone subscription services that charge $99+/month. So I decided to learn ThinkScript so I could develop indicators and scans for myself. I still use most of these thinkscripts every day while trading.