SPY Volume Trading Strategy

This article presents a SPY volume trading strategy.

Understanding the significance of trading volume in SPY and the S&P 500 ETF is crucial. This article explores the relevance of volume in SPY trading and presents findings from historical data analysis and statistics.

We’ll focus on a specific SPY volume trading strategy that could potentially improve trading performance. We’ll uncover insights into the relationship between trading volume, market behavior, and trading outcomes through data-driven empirical backtesting. Stay tuned to discover how volume can impact your SPY trading decisions and potentially improve your profitability.

Does volume matter in SPY? I’m trading SPY, but until now, I have not paid any attention to the volume. Let’s test a simple SPY volume trading strategy.

Volume probably matters in SPY because a lot of SPY trading is hedging. I trade SPY every day in my day trading simply for hedging purposes. So when the markets turn ugly, I’m not surprised to see volume pick up (for hedging purposes). Unfortunately, we don’t know today’s volume until the trading day is finished.

Below, we form a trading hypothesis or trading idea we can label volume trading strategy:

SPY volume trading strategy

What happens the next day after a day with below-average volume?

(All testing is from 2005 until present in this article)

The pink line is “buy and hold” and blue is the strategy. As we can see, there is nothing to gain using yesterday’s data about volume.

I backtested a lot of different strategies/ideas, but only one pattern seems to have any predictive power:

Trading Rules

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We backtest the trading rules on the S&P 500 by using the ETF with the ticker code SPY from 1993 until today:

SPY volume trading strategy
SPY volume trading strategy

The above graph shows the accumulated profits from open to close if we use the trading rules as described.

Let’s look at the statistics and trading performance metrics:

  • 207 trades
  • The average gain per trade is 0.1%
  • The win rate is 55%
  • Max drawdown is 9%

The SPY volume trading strategy looks pretty erratic but it can be improved by adding one variable (which we don’t show). Keep in mind that this is a day trading strategy where you buy the open and sell at the close.

If you would like to have the Amibroker and Tradestation code for this strategy, you might want to consider becoming a member and get access to plenty of strategies and trading ideas.

For more trading strategies, have a look at all our profitable trading strategies.

Does trading volume matter when trading SPY (S&P 500 ETF)?

Trading volume in SPY can be significant because much of SPY trading is related to hedging. Understanding the role of volume in SPY trading can be important for traders.

What is the outcome of the SPY volume trading strategy based on historical data?

The article presents the results of testing various SPY volume trading strategies. While most of them show no significant predictive power, one pattern indicates that trading in the direction of a “big” gap up (more than 0.6%) on days following below-average volume days can yield an average profit of 0.22% per trade.

Why is below-average volume important in SPY trading?

Below-average volume in SPY trading may indicate less hedging activity, which can have implications for market movements. Understanding this relationship can be valuable for traders.


Trading volume in SPY, the S&P 500 ETF, is a crucial factor to consider for traders. This article delved into the significance of volume in SPY trading and presented findings from historical data analysis regarding a specific SPY volume trading strategy. By examining how below-average volume days affect market movements, we aimed to uncover actionable insights that can enhance trading outcomes.

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