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Gap Up/Down Strategy


I am new to Python and Quantopian, but I am not new to coding. However, I am having some trouble understanding how to implement the below pseudo-code.

  1. Get a list of S&P 500 stocks.
  2. Find the gap up/down percentage from the previous day's close.
  3. Sort the stocks in order by gap up/down percentage.
  4. For the top 5 gap up stocks (largest gainers): go long at 10 AM EST, and sell at the close of the trading day
  5. For the bottom 5 stocks (largest losers): go short at 10 AM EST, and cover at the close of the trading day

I would really appreciate guidance in how to implement this strategy.

Thanks in advance for your help

4 responses

Hi Rai,

I believe the constituents of the S&P 500 aren't available in Quantopian. You'd have to retrieve them from an external source and feed your algorithm with it using the method fetch_csv(). An alternative is to use:

set_universe(universe.DollarVolumeUniverse(95.0, 100.0))  

Which is a reasonable approximation. Here's a backtest that should help you getting started (may contain errors):

Clone Algorithm
Backtest from to with initial capital
Total Returns
Max Drawdown
Benchmark Returns
Returns 1 Month 3 Month 6 Month 12 Month
Alpha 1 Month 3 Month 6 Month 12 Month
Beta 1 Month 3 Month 6 Month 12 Month
Sharpe 1 Month 3 Month 6 Month 12 Month
Sortino 1 Month 3 Month 6 Month 12 Month
Volatility 1 Month 3 Month 6 Month 12 Month
Max Drawdown 1 Month 3 Month 6 Month 12 Month
# Backtest ID: 559b7c3a577e3f1236b9c83b
There was a runtime error.


You can get a rough facsimile of the S&P 500 using get_fundamentals() The S&P 500 is an index maintained by S&P Dow Jones Indices and they have a detailed process that goes into creating all of there indices. We can get pretty close using get_fundamentals() and sorting the results by market cap and limiting them to 500, which also happens to be the number of securities the Quantopian platform supports! Try this code out...

def before_trading_start(context):  
    sp_500 = get_fundamentals(  
                        .filter(fundamentals.valuation.market_cap > 1e8)  
    context.fundamental_df = fundamental_df  

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Thanks so much for your help Alexis and James!
I have tried to modify to modify the algorithm so that it:
1) sells the security if the current price is greater than or equal to 1 % more than the purchase price,
2)sells at market close if (1) was not triggered.
I have tried doing this using limit orders, but it just doesn't seem to work. Also, how can I output the time and date of the limit order, when and if it is filled?

 for i in range(-5, 0):  
        amount = int(size/data[gaps[i][0]].price)  
        context.buy_order_id = order(gaps[i][0], amount)  
        buy_price = data[gaps[i][0]].price 'entry %s %s %s %s' % (get_order(context.buy_order_id).dt, gaps[i][0], amount, buy_price))  
        sell_limit_price = 1.01*buy_price  
        context.sell_order_id = order_target_value(gaps[i][0], 0, style=LimitOrder(sell_limit_price))  


If I were you I wouldn't use a limit order, instead I would check at your desired frequency whether the current price is >= 1% and just issue a market order then. This also gives you more control over the logging capabilities. I'm not sure what your full strategy is but you could have your sell function set using schedule_function and use handle_data to do the 1% check.