Understanding Top Market Manipulation Strategies

Market manipulation is a deliberate attempt to interfere with the free and fair operation of the stock market. It misleads investors by artificially inflating or deflating the price of a security. 

What is Market Manipulation

Market manipulation includes tactics that distort securities prices or trading volume to mislead market participants. It is illegal under financial regulations in most jurisdictions. There have been recorded instances of market manipulation since the 17th century, which existed with the markets. Manipulators have developed more sophisticated methods to exploit loopholes and complexity of financial systems.

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Top Market Manipulation Strategies

Here are the top 7 marketing manipulation strategies:


Spoofing involves placing fake orders to create a false impression of demand or supply. It leads other traders to move the market predictably. A famous example includes a trader causing the 2010 “Flash Crash” by placing large sell orders that were never intended to be executed. Spoofing can highly distort market prices temporarily, leading to unfair trading advantages.

Pump and Dump

Pump-and-dump involves artificially inflating the price of a stock through false or misleading statements. They later sell off the overvalued shares at a profit. It damages market integrity by misleading investors about a company’s value. Traders face losses when the scheme collapses.

Bear Raids and Short Squeezes

A bear raid involves selling off a large amount of stock short, hoping to drive down its price. Conversely, in short squeezes, short sellers buy shares to cover their positions when a price increases to further increase the price. Bear raids are manipulative efforts to depress stock prices artificially.

Wash Trading

A trader buys and sells securities to create misleading activity and volume without any position change in wash trading. It makes a stock appear more active and attractive to other investors. It distorts true market activity, misleads traders about a security’s demand, and manipulates its price.

Fake News and Misinformation

Spreading false information to influence stock prices is a common manipulation strategy. This can range from rumours on social media to fake news articles.  It can significantly affect stock prices and market trust. Using fake news for stock manipulation is illegal and can have severe legal consequences.


Churning is when a broker trades excessively on a client’s account, mainly to generate commissions. It affects long-term investors who entrust their portfolios to financial advisors or brokers. It diminishes investment returns due to unnecessary fees. High trading volume in an account without corresponding increases in value, repeated buying and selling of securities that serve no apparent investment goal, and a focus on transactions generating higher commissions are warning signs. 

Cornering the Market

Cornering the market includes accumulating a large enough portion of a market to manipulate prices. Such attempts as the Hunt Brothers’ try to corner the silver market in 1980, often end in failure and financial ruin. This strategy is risky and illegal. Successfully cornering the market requires vast resources and can be countered by regulatory intervention or market forces. 


Market manipulation is a threat to the financial market integrity. Investors should diversify their portfolios, stay vigilant about these practices, and employ efficient strategies to safeguard investments.

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