How to Use Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP) in Breakout Trading?

BY TIO Staff

|June 20, 2024

Breakout trading is a popular strategy among traders, offering the potential for significant profits if executed correctly. One tool that can enhance the effectiveness of this strategy is the Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP). This article delves into the nuances of using VWAP in breakout trading, providing a comprehensive guide to maximize your trading outcomes.

Understanding VWAP

The Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP) is a trading benchmark that provides the average price a security has traded at throughout the day, based on both volume and price. It is a vital indicator for traders who aim to ensure their trades are executed near the market average.

Components of VWAP

VWAP is calculated by adding up the dollar value of all trading periods and then dividing by the total shares traded. This calculation gives traders insights into both the trend and the value of the security.

Understanding the components of VWAP is crucial for traders looking to incorporate it into their breakout trading strategies. It not only helps in identifying the trend but also in determining the best entry and exit points.

Significance of VWAP in Trading

VWAP serves as a reference point for traders, indicating whether a security is overpriced or underpriced. For breakout traders, it acts as a guide to discerning the strength of a breakout. Securities trading above their VWAP are considered bullish, while those below are seen as bearish.

This significance of VWAP in trading cannot be overstated. It provides a snapshot of market sentiment at any given moment, aiding traders in making informed decisions.

Applying VWAP in Breakout Trading

Breakout trading strategies revolve around identifying significant price movements outside a defined price range. Incorporating VWAP into this strategy enhances its effectiveness by providing a volume-weighted perspective on price movements.

Identifying Breakouts with VWAP

To use VWAP effectively in breakout trading, traders should look for moments when the price of a security breaks above or below the VWAP with significant volume. This indicates a strong move that is likely to continue, offering a potential entry point for breakout traders.

Identifying breakouts with VWAP requires careful analysis of price and volume data. Traders should also consider other factors such as market news and overall market sentiment to validate the breakout.

Timing Entries and Exits

Once a breakout has been identified using VWAP, the next step is to time your entry. A common approach is to enter a trade shortly after the price moves beyond the VWAP line, ensuring the move is supported by high volume.

Exiting a trade is equally important. Traders often set a target price at which they intend to sell the security or use a trailing stop loss to protect their profits. VWAP can aid in setting these targets by providing a benchmark for the average price.

Risks and Considerations

While VWAP can significantly enhance breakout trading strategies, it is not without its risks. Understanding these risks is crucial for traders aiming to use VWAP effectively.

Over-reliance on VWAP

One common pitfall is over-reliance on VWAP. While it is a powerful tool, it should not be used in isolation. Traders should incorporate other indicators and analysis methods to confirm the signals provided by VWAP.

Combining VWAP with other indicators such as moving averages or RSI can provide a more holistic view of the market, reducing the risk of false signals.

Market Volatility

Market volatility can also impact the effectiveness of VWAP in breakout trading. During periods of high volatility, prices can fluctuate rapidly, making it challenging to identify genuine breakouts.

In such conditions, it is advisable to use VWAP as part of a broader trading strategy that accounts for volatility, such as adjusting the size of your trades or setting wider stop losses to manage risk.

Utilizing VWAP Bands for Breakout Confirmation

Another advanced technique in breakout trading involving VWAP is the use of VWAP bands. These bands are created by plotting multiple VWAP lines above and below the standard VWAP line, forming a channel that can help confirm breakouts.

When the price of a security breaks out of the VWAP band channel with significant volume, it signals a strong breakout confirmation. Traders can use this signal to enter trades with more confidence, as the breakout is supported by both price and volume dynamics.

Implementing VWAP Bands

To implement VWAP bands, traders can calculate multiple VWAP lines based on different timeframes or standard deviations from the central VWAP line. This creates upper and lower bands that act as dynamic support and resistance levels for breakout trading.

By utilizing VWAP bands, traders can filter out false breakouts and focus on trades that have a higher probability of success. The bands provide a visual representation of price movements relative to volume-weighted averages, aiding in decision-making.

Combining VWAP with Fibonacci Retracement Levels

Integrating VWAP with Fibonacci retracement levels is another strategy that can enhance breakout trading. Fibonacci retracement levels are horizontal lines that indicate potential support and resistance levels based on the Fibonacci sequence.

When these Fibonacci levels align with the VWAP line or VWAP bands, it strengthens the significance of those levels, providing additional confirmation for breakout traders. This confluence of technical indicators can increase the reliability of breakout signals.

Using Fibonacci Levels with VWAP

Traders can identify key Fibonacci retracement levels, such as 38.2%, 50%, or 61.8%, and observe how price interacts with these levels in relation to the VWAP. If a breakout occurs near a Fibonacci level that coincides with the VWAP, it adds conviction to the trade setup.

By combining VWAP with Fibonacci retracement levels, traders can create a robust trading strategy that leverages both volume-based analysis and historical price movements. This synergy can lead to more accurate breakout predictions and improved trading outcomes.


Using the Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP) in breakout trading offers traders a unique advantage by providing a volume-weighted perspective on price movements. By understanding how to apply VWAP effectively, traders can enhance their ability to identify and capitalize on breakout opportunities. However, it is essential to be aware of the risks involved and to use VWAP as part of a comprehensive trading strategy.

As with any trading strategy, success in using VWAP for breakout trading requires practice, patience, and continuous learning. By staying informed and adapting to market conditions, traders can use VWAP to improve their trading outcomes significantly.

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Risk Disclaimer - of Liability: The authors, publishers, and distributors of this article are not responsible for any losses, damages, or liabilities that may arise from the use of the information contained herein. Readers are encouraged to seek professional advice from a qualified financial advisor before engaging in any trading activities.

By accessing this article, you acknowledge and agree that you are fully responsible for your trading decisions and any resulting outcomes. Always conduct thorough research and consider your financial situation, risk tolerance, and investment objectives before making any trading decisions.

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TIO Staff

Behind every blog post lies the combined experience of the people working at TIOmarkets. We are a team of dedicated industry professionals and financial markets enthusiasts committed to providing you with trading education and financial markets commentary. Our goal is to help empower you with the knowledge you need to trade in the markets effectively.

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