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1. A change in a security's price quickly followed by another change in the opposite direction. For example, a security could rise $1 then quickly lose $2, or it could fall 50 cents then rise 75 cents. Whipsaws are significant risks for day traders and speculators who may lose large amounts of money in short-term trading.

2. To buy securities at a market top or to sell at a market bottom. That is, one whipsaws when one buys or sells securities at exactly the worst possible time. One whipsaws out of fear or out of misreading market signals. To whipsaw is also called to chatter.


A quick price movement followed by a sharp price change in the opposite direction. An investor expecting a continuation in the direction of a security's price movement is likely to experience whipsaw in a volatile market. This risk is very important to short-term traders but inconsequential to long-term investors.
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In either case, the IRS's current basic "netting" practice may ameliorate the interest-rate whipsaw.
This whipsaw against taxpayers is exacerbated to the extent of the interest-rate differential on underpayments and overpayments.
Hence, a taxpayer in this situation faces an interest-rate whipsaw that another taxpayer may avoid.