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Does Volume Figure Into Your Trading?

I can't speak for others, but it didn't help me much in the past when volume was "a day late and a dollar short," back when only daily charts were available unless you were a floor trader. But these days, now that live volume is at your fingertips, it can indeed be a very useful tool. At Trading Educators, we use both contract volume and tick volume as guidelines and filters for our trading.

Here's a simple idea that works well for indices. Most people overlook volume as an indicator, but here I will show you how to use it to figure out possible turns in the market. The concept is that of a volume spike. If you look at just about any weekly chart of the S&P 500, you will see what I'm talking about. Note the volume spikes that occur at the turning points in the market. This occurs when large numbers of contracts change hands. Usually it happens when the smaller trader gives up and sells his contracts. If enough traders do this at once, and the price is right, the professionals come in to snatch up those contracts.

This causes large volume to occur right at the bottom of a decline as the market is churning. The contracts move from the weak hands (the man on the street) to the strong hands (professionals). You need to look for volume that is larger than the volume of the last 10 bars. This is not cast in stone, but is generally a good average to go by. You might decide that 8 bars are enough. It also helps if the volume is substantially larger than the previous volume, and is accompanied by a large downward move in price. I wouldn't necessarily trade this as a standalone indicator, but use it as a general warning of a possible change in Market direction. Does this work with intraday charts? Absolutely!

Volume information is also useful to show you the best times of day to trade. You want to trade during those hours when volume is greatest. Volume is important.

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Thursday, 25 April 2024

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