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How To Trade

This is a discussion on How To Trade within the HowToBasic forums, part of the Announcements category; 21. MACD Indicator: Trade it Like a Pro (Part 2) The second lesson of two on how to trade the ...

      
   
  1. #21
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    21. MACD Indicator: Trade it Like a Pro (Part 2)

    The second lesson of two on how to trade the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) for day traders and investors using technical analysis in the stock market, futures market, and forex market.

    In addition to being able to tell if the stock, futures contract, or currency you are analyzing is trending or not from simply looking at its price action on the chart, you can also use the MACD indicator. Very simply if the MACD line is at or close to the zero line, this indicates that the financial instrument you are analyzing is not exhibiting strong trending characteristics, and thus should not be traded using the MACD.

    Example of Trending and Non Trending Markets

    Once it is determined that the financial instrument you are analyzing is exhibiting trending characteristics, there are three ways that you can trade the MACD.

    1. Positive and Negative Divergence
    2. The MACD/Signal Line Crossover
    3. The zero line crossover

    Trading the MACD Divergence:

    Divergence occurs when the direction of the MACD is not moving in the same direction of the financial instrument you are analyzing. This can be seen as an indication that the upward or downward momentum in the market is failing. Traders will thus look to trade the reversal of the trend and consider this signal particularly strong when the market is making a new high or low and the MACD is not.


  2. #22
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    22. How to Trade the Relative Strength Index (RSI) Like a Pro

    A lesson on how to trade the RSI for traders and investors using technical analysis in the stock market, futures market and forex market.

    In our last lesson we looked at 3 different ways that the MACD indicator can be traded. In today's lesson we are going to look at a class of indicators which are known as Oscillators with a look at how to trade one of the more popular Oscillators the Relative Strength Index (RSI).

    An oscillator is a leading technical indicator which fluctuates above and below a center line and normally has upper and lower bands which indicate overbought and oversold conditions in the market (an exception to this would be the MACD which is an Oscillator as well). One of the most popular Oscillators outside of the MACD which we have already gone over is the Relative Strength Index (RSI) which is where we will start our discussion.

    The RSI is best described as an indicator which represents the momentum in a particular financial instrument as well as when it is reaching extreme levels to the upside (referred to as overbought) or downside (referred to as oversold) and is therefore due for a reversal. The indicator accomplishes this through a formula which compares the size of recent gains for a particular financial instrument to the size of recent losses, the results of which are plotted as a line which fluctuates between 0 and 100. Bands are then placed at 70 which is considered an extreme level to the upside, and 30 which is considered an extreme level to the downside.

    Example of the RSI :

    The first and most popular way that traders use the RSI is to identify and potentially trade overbought and oversold areas in the market. Because of the way the RSI is constructed a reading of 100 would indicate zero losses in the dataset that you are analyzing, and a reading of zero would indicate zero gains, both of which would be a very rare occurrence. As such James Wilder who developed the indicator chose the levels of 70 to identify overbought conditions and 30 to identify oversold conditions. When the RSI line trades above the 70 line this is seen by traders as a sign the market is becoming overextended to the upside. Conversely when the market trades below the 30 line this is seen by traders as a sign that the market is becoming over extended to the downside. As such traders will look for opportunities to go long when the RSI is below 30 and opportunities to go short when it is above 70. As with all indicators however this is best done when other parts of a trader's analysis line up with the indicator.

    Example of RSI Showing Overbought and Oversold :

    A second way that traders look to use the RSI is to look for divergences between the RSI and the financial instrument that they are analyzing, particularly when these divergences occur after overbought or oversold conditions in the market. These divergences can act as a sign that a move is loosing momentum and often occur before reversals in the market. As such traders will watch for divergences as a potential opportunity to trade a reversal in the stock, futures or forex markets or to enter in the direction of a trend on a pullback.

    Example of RSI Divergence :

    The third way that traders look to use the RSI is to identify bullish and bearish changes in the market by watching the RSI line for when it crosses above or below the center line. Although traders will not normally look to trade the crossover it can be used as confirmation for trades based on other methods.


  3. #23
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    23. How to Trade Stochastics Like the Pro's Do

    A lesson on how to trade the stochastic oscillator for active day traders and investors using technical analysis in the stock market, forex market. and futures market.

    In our last lesson we learned about the RSI indicator and some of the different ways traders of the stock, futures, and forex markets use this in their trading. In today's lesson we are going to look at another momentum oscillator which is similar to the RSI and is called the Stochastic.

    Let me start by saying that there are 3 different types of stochastic oscillators: the fast, slow, and full stochastic. All of them operate in a similar manner however when most traders refer to trading using the stochastic indicator they are referring to the slow stochastic which is going to be the focus of this lesson.

    The basic premise of the stochastic is that prices tend to close in the upper end of their trading range when the financial instrument you are analyzing is in an uptrend and in the lower end of their trading range when the financial instrument that you are analyzing is in a downtrend. When prices close in the upper end of their range in an uptrend this is a sign that the momentum of the trend is strong and vice versa for a downtrend.

    The Stochastic Oscillator contains two lines which are plotted below the price chart and are known as the %K and %D lines. Like the RSI, the Stochastic is a banded oscillator so the %K and %D lines fluctuate between zero and 100, and has lines plotted at 20 and 80 which represent the high and low ends of the range.


  4. #24
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    24. The Difference Between the Fast, Slow and Full Stochastic

    Answer to a question on what is the difference between the fast stochastic, slow stochastic and full stochastic


  5. #25
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    25. How to Trade Bollinger Bands - Stocks, Futures, Forex

    A Lesson on Bollinger Bands for active traders and investors using technical analysis in the forex, futures, and stock markets.

    In our last lesson we learned about the Stochastic Oscillator and how traders use this in their trading. In today's lesson we are going to learn about an indicator which helps traders gauge the volatility and how current prices compare to past prices.
    Bollinger Bands are comprised of three bands which are referred to as the upper band, the lower band, and the center band. The middle band is a simple moving average which is normally set at 20 periods, and the upper band and lower band represent chart points that are two standard deviations away from that moving average.

    Example of Bollinger Bands:

    Bollinger bands are designed to give traders a feel for what the volatility is in the market and how high or low prices are relative to the recent past. The basic premise of Bollinger bands is that price should normally fall within two standard deviations (represented by the upper and lower band) of the mean which is the center line moving average. If you are unfamiliar with what a standard deviation is you can read about it here. As this is the case trend reversals often occur near the upper and lower bands. As the center line is a moving average which represents the trend in the market, it will also frequently act as support or resistance. The first way that traders use the indicator is to identify potential overbought and oversold places in the market. Although some traders will take a close outside the upper or lower bands as buy and sell signals, John Bollinger who developed the indicator recommends that this method should only be traded with the confirmation of other indicators. Outside of the fact that most traders would recommend confirming signals with more than one method, with Bollinger bands prices which stay outside or remain close to the upper or lower band can indicate a strong trend, a situation that you do not want to be trading reversals in. For this reason selling at the upper band and buying at the lower is a technique that is best served in range bound markets.


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    26. How to Trade the Average Directional Index (ADX)

    A lesson on how to trade the ADX for traders of the stock, futures, and forex markets.

    In this lesson we are going to learn about the Average directional Index (ADX), an indicator which helps traders determine when the market is trending, when the market is ranging, when the market may be about to change from trending to ranging or vice versa, and to gauge the strength of the trend in the market.

    You do need to know that:

    The ADX line is composed of two other indicators which are known as the Positive Directional Index (+DI Line) and the Negative Directional Index (-DI Line).
    The +DI Line is representative of how strong or weak the uptrend in the market is.
    The --DI line is representative of how strong or weak the downtrend in the market is.
    As the ADX line is comprised of both the +DI Line and the --DI Line, it does not indicate whether the trend is up or down, but simply the strength of the overall trend in the market.

    As the ADX Line is Non Directional, it does not tell you whether the market is in an uptrend or a downtrend (you must look to price or the +DI/-DI Lines for this) but simply how strong or weak the trend in the financial instrument you are analyzing is. When the ADX line is above 40 and rising this is indicative of a strong trend, and when the ADX line is below 20 and falling this is indicative of a ranging market.

    So one of the first ways traders will use the ADX in their trading is as a confirmation of whether or not a financial instrument is trending, and to avoid choppy periods in the market where many find it harder to make money. In addition to a situation where the ADX line trending below 20, the developer of the indicator recommends not trading a trend based strategy when the ADX line is below both the +DI Line and the -DI Line.


  7. #27
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    27. How to Trade the Parabolic SAR

    A lesson on how to trade the Parabolic Stop and Reversal (SAR) indicator for traders of the forex, futures, and stock markets.

    In our last lesson we learned about the Average Directional Index (ADX) an indicator which helps traders determine the strength of trends in the market. In today's lesson we are going to look at another indicator called the Parabolic Stop and Reversal (Parabolic SAR), which helps traders enter and manage positions when trading those trends.

    The Parabolic SAR is an indicator that, like Bollinger bands is plotted on price, the general idea of which is to buy into up trends when the indicator is below price, and sell into downtrends when the indicator is above price. Once traders are in positions the indicator also assists in managing the position by providing guidance as to how one should trail their stop.


  8. #28
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    28. How to Trade Candlestick Chart Formations Part 1

    The first lesson in a series on how to trade candlestick chart patterns for traders of the futures, forex, and stock markets.


  9. #29
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    29. How to Trade Spinning Tops and Doji Candlestick Patterns

    In our last lesson we learned how different candlestick formations can tell us different things about whether the buyers or the sellers won out in a particular time period. In today's lesson we are going to look at some of the basic candlestick patterns and what they mean when looked at in the context of recent price action in the market.

    The Spinning Top

    When a candlestick with a short body in the middle of two long wicks forms in the market this is indicative of a situation where neither the buyers nor the sellers have won for that time period as the market has closed relatively unchanged from where it opened. The upper and lower long wicks however tell us that both the buyers and the sellers had the upper hand at some point during the time period the candle represents. When you see this type of candlestick form after a runup or run down in the market it can be an indication of a pending reversal as the indescision in the market is representative of the buyers loosing momentum when this occurs after an uptrend and the sellers loosing momentum after a downtrend.

    The Doji

    Like the Spinning Top the Doji Represents indecision in the market but is normally considered a stronger signal because unlike the spinning top the open and the close that form the Doji Candle are at the same level. If a Doji forms in sideways market action this is not significant as the sideways market action is already indicative of indecision in the market. If the Doji forms in an uptrend or downtrend this is normally seen as significant as this is a signal that the buyers are loosing conviction when formed in an uptrend and a signal that sellers are loosing conviction if seen in a downtrend. Most traders will place greater significance on the Doji when it forms in a market that is in overbought or oversold territory.

    The Bullish Engulfing Pattern

    The Bullish Engulfing pattern is another candlestick formation which represents a potential reversal in the market when seen in a downtrend. The pattern is made up of a white and black candle where the latest candle (the white candle) opens lower than the previous candle's (the black candle) close and closes higher than the previous candle's open. When this happens the current period's white candle completely engulfs the previous period's black candle.

    When thinking about this from a buyer/seller perspective, you can understand that the long body of the current candle engulfing completely the body of the previous candle to the upside is representative that the buyers have not only taken control but have taken control with force. When this white engulfing candle occurs after a small black candle the formation is given even more significance as the small black candle is already indicative of a trend that is running low on steam.


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    30. How to Trade the Bullish/Bearish Engulfing Candlesticks

    A lesson on how to trade the Bullish and Bearish Engulfing Candlestick Chart Patterns for active traders and investors using technical analysis in the stock, futures, and forex markets.


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