What are Supports and Resistances? And How to identify them cover

What are Supports and Resistances? And How to identify them?

Understand what are Supports and Resistances: One of the most elementary concepts while trading in stocks that every trader should know is, “Supports and Resistances”. If you’re already involved in the market, you might have heard or read terms like “Nifty50 has got a big resistance at 10,800 points” or “Stock XYZ has a support line at Rs 105”. So, what exactly do the traders mean by these terms in their analysis? We are going to discuss that through this article.

In this article, we are going to discuss what are supports and resistance, their characteristics, and how exactly to use them. By the end of this article, you will have a good idea about these concepts and use them in your trading. Let’s get started.

What are Supports and Resistances?

The Synonym for the word support is “Reinforce”.  Basically, support can be said to be a point of reinforcement. In other words, supports are those points which acts as a barrier for the prices, when they start to some down. They can also be said as points, where the downtrend is expected to be paused. And we should see a new surge in buying and demand. In short, supports are those points, where buyers are more forceful than sellers.

support-resistance-basics

On the other hand, Resistances are said to be the point where the supply increases or the longs start getting out of their positions from the market. Therefore, if we were to carefully analyze, supports and resistances can be said as the point of friction or tussle between buyers and sellers. And Resistances, are those points where sellers have higher say than buyers.

Now, once the level of Supports and Resistances (S&R) are identified, they become the point of entry or exit for the trade. The prices either bounce back or correct back, from S&R level or breach these levels and go to next S&R.

Characteristics of Supports

Here are the key characteristics of Supports while looking into the charts:

  • Supports are those points or levels, below which the market finds difficult to fall. They can also be said as point of infliction between buyers and sellers.
  • Supports are also the point of Maximum demand from buyers, and even the sellers exit their selling positions from the market.
  • The buyers have a higher say in deciding the levels of support in the market. These levels can also be said to be mainstay for buyers.
  • Supports, if breached sees a quick sell off in the market, and then the next level of support becomes a point of contention.
  • If the levels of supports holds in the market, then fresh longs can be initiated and generally these trades have good risk to reward ratios.

— Understanding Supports with an Example

The figure below shows the daily chart of HDFC Bank. Through this chart, we get a clear illustration on the concept of supports and the impact on the market, if the supports are respected or breached.

Characteristics of Supports

Figure 1: Daily HDFC Bank chart (Source- Kite Zerodha)

Now, if we carefully look, the market finds a very strong support in the range between Rs. 1030 and 1075. The sellers continuously try to breach this levels, but to no avail. And after forming a base at these levels, the market starts going up.

And, we see continuous buying momentum in the share price of HDFC Bank. A Trend line support is formed in the market by joining three points from where the market is bouncing. In this rally, the share price of HDFC bank moved up from 1030 levels to almost 1250 levels (a near 20 % gain).

And the moment, the price of the shares of HDFC bank breaks the Trend line support, we see an increased selling pressure and the longs unwind from the market. Following which, the share price of reaches the initial support levels near dotted lines (Figure 1). And after finding support at these levels, the market starts to rally back and we see continuous buying in the market and it nearly makes of move of 25% form there.

So, if we were to just use simple supports patters while trading the above chart, we would have got a minimum of three trades with a minimum of 15% returns

Characteristics of Resistances

Here are the key characteristics of Resistances while looking into the charts:

  • Resistances are the levels which are defended by sellers. And the market finds it difficult to go beyond that level. It is a tussle point between buyers and sellers.
  • Maximum selling pressure comes from sellers at this point and even the buyers start to exit their long positions at these levels
  • If the levels of Resistances are breached in the market, we could see a massive short covering in the market, up to next resistance levels.
  • Resistances can also be called as points where fresh short positions can be initiated in the market, with good risk to reward ratio.

— Understanding Resistances with an Example

The figure above is a weekly chart of Airtel Limited. Through this chart, we get a clear illustration on the concept of Resistances, and the impact on the market if the resistances are breached.

Understanding Resistances with an Example

Figure 2: Weekly Airtel chart (Source- Kite Zerodha)

The Share price of Airtel Limited had made a new high in the year 2007 and after that, the market had corrected nearly 50% from its highs. And then again, the market made a move up and went up till near 500 levels and started correcting again. And by joining these two points, of the initial high and the recent high, we could form a trend line.

So, now this trend line forms an important resistance in the market. As and when the market made a move up, this trend line acted as an important barrier and the market started to correct back. And the market was able to breach this resistance in the Mid-2014 and the share price had massive short covering. And the market made a move till the initial swing highs of 570 levels. Therefore, this is the power of Resistances, when an important level is breached.

Now, let us understand the concept of swing trades. If we look at Figure 2, we have marked swing trade. Swing trades are those trades which we hold for a longer duration of time, usually for the completion of one full cycle. These are the trades which have a longer holding period. And we generally don’t have a profit target in place, we just keep trailing the Stop losses and ride the wave.

Also read:

Closing Thoughts

In this article, we tried to simplify the concept of Supports and Resistances while looking into the charts. Let’s quickly conclude what we discussed today.

Supports and Resistances are important points of significance on charts as we get good entry or exit points for our trades. On one hand, Supports are defended by bulls/buyers and on other hand, Resistances are defended by bears/sellers. These levels of Supports and Resistances can be used to identify targets for the trade and also for keeping Stop losses for existing trades. As a thumb rule, for a longer trade, look for the immediate resistance level as target. On contrary, for a short trade, look for the immediate support level as target.

INDIA VIX MEANING

What is India VIX? Meaning, Range, Implications & More!

Understanding what is India Vix, meaning & its importance: Ever heard of India Vix? If you’re involved in the market for some time and particularly active in the share market in March-April 2020, then I’m sure that you would definitely have come up with this term “India Vix” at least a couple of times mentioned on different financial websites and channels.

In this post, we are going to discuss, what exactly is India Vix, it’s meaning and how exactly it is important for the traders and investors to understand this term. Let’s get started.

What is India Vix?

India VIX is a short form for India Volatility Index. It is the volatility index that measures the market’s expectation of volatility over the near term. In other words, it explains the annual volatility that the traders expect over the next 30 days in the Nifty50 Index.

The India VIX value is derived by using the Black & Scholes (B&S) Model. The B&S Model uses five important variables like strike price, the market price of the stock, time to expiry, the risk-free rate, and the volatility. India VIX was introduced by NSE in the year 2008, but the concept of VIX is a trademark of CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange).

One simple way of understanding India VIX is that it is the expected annual change in the NIFTY50 index over a period of 30 days. For example, if the India VIX is currently at 11, this simply means that the traders expect 11% volatility for the next 30 days. Further, say, if the current index is trading at 9,000 and India VIX trading at 20. So, expected volatility over next year over 30 days will be:

  • Index spot: 9000
  • India Vix: 20
  • The expected downside for the year = 9000 – 20% of 9000 = 7200
  • The expected upside for the year = 9000+ 20% of 9000 = 10,800

Here, the expected range for the year is between 7200 and 10, 800

Anyways, before moving further, let me mention that one should not confuse India VIX with Market Index. Market Index gives information about the direction of the market but on the other hand VIX measures the volatility of the market.

Quick Note: Originally, VIX is a trademark of the Chicago Board Options Trade (CBOE).

Why is India VIX so important?

All the major directional moves in the market are usually preceded by a lot of choppiness or a lot of range play in the market. India VIX plays a very major role in understanding the confidence or fear factor amongst traders.

A lower VIX level usually implies that the market is confident about the movement and is expecting lower volatility and stable range. A higher VIX level usually signals high volatility and lower trader confidence about the current range of the market. A major directional move can be expected in the market and a quick broadening of range can be expected.

For example, during the sub-prime crisis, India VIX was trading at 55-60 (high of 90) levels and the market was in a state of panic and indecisiveness and hence the moves were erratic and hostile. Volatility and India VIX have a positive correlation. High volatility indicated high India VIX and vice-versa.

Similarly before COVID-19. India VIX had stayed below 30 (Since 2014). But since the epidemic disease broke out, the VIX has crossed the 30 level and is trading near 50 levels (trading above 80 for few days) and we have seen Indian equity Index losing nearly 40 percent of its value and is trading near 8000 levels.

So, India VIX plays a major role in understanding the sentiment of the market. But be aware of the fact, India VIX does not give any indication of the directional move in the market, it simply indicates the volatility in the market. So, anyone with a huge investment in Equities should keep a close eye on the movement of India VIX coz a similar movement in the shares of his portfolio cannot be ruled out.

Is there an ideal range for India VIX?

Theoretically speaking, VIX ranges between 15-35. But there have been outliers case of as low as 8(very tight range) and as high as 90 (extreme volatility). If VIX moves close to Zero, then theoretically either the index can double or come to 0. However, usually, VIX has a tendency to revert back to mean.

indiavix chart 2020

The figure above is India Vix chart for the last 10 years. With the current global crisis of COVID-19, the global markets have faced a lot of heat and extreme volatility and all the major global indices have lost nearly 40% from their recent highs and Indian equity market is no exception. With this current level of volatility, India VIX had climbed up to all time high levels of 90 for a couple of days.

And it seemed to be stabilizing near 50 levels about a month ago. The Vix range is still on the higher side, to attain some stability in the market. For stability to return, the global factors will have to improve and the India Vix level should ideally come around 20 levels.

The Current VIX level is 30 (June 2020) and the market seems to be stabilizing for now. But for the long term stability of the market, sub 20 levels of VIX is desired.

What do these extreme Vix levels mean for Options Writers?

India VIX also plays a very major role in the pricing of Options. A higher India Vix levels usually signal more volatile prices for options and a stable range would mean that the options are priced reasonably cheaper.

Simply put, high VIX levels expose option writers to unlimited risk with limited rewards (Premium). A deep in out of money Put/Call option can become at the money or even In the money option in a matter of a couple of trading sessions.

Also read: Options Trading 101: The Big Cat of Trading World

For Example, the stock price of XYZ shares is Rs. 300, and a trader has sold 280 put option contract (2,000 shares) for a premium of Rs. 10 and the contract has still 7 days to expiry. So, with current volatility, the share price can come to Rs. 240 in 2 trading sessions. So the loss for option writer with still 5 days to expiry will be:

  • Strike price: Rs. 280
  • Spot price: Rs. 240
  • Premium Earned: Rs. 10

Here, the loss for option writer: Rs. (240+10-280) i.e., Rs. 30 loss per lot, which is a loss of Rs. 60,000 (2000*30) per lot. Therefore, ideally, the option writer should avoid writing contacts and even if they do, the premium charged should also be higher.

Summary

To summarize, it can be said that India Vix is a silent yet very effective indicator to gauge the range play for Index, which in turn gives us a clear view of the expected movement of the share price.

Historically, large Vix levels have always been followed by a large movement in the indexes and share prices. And even the option pricing, the premiums charged also increase or decrease because of the Vix level changes.

Futures vs Options Trading What is More Profitable

Futures vs Options Trading: Which is More Profitable?

Futures vs Options Trading – before we dwell deeper into this debate, let us first understand what each of these financial instruments implies. However, before that, it is important that you understand what does owning an equity share implies –

“Owning an Equity is like owning an ownership stake in the company. The holders of Equity shares have voting rights and have ownership say in the management and working of the company. Equity shareholders are partners in the growth and tough times of the company. They are entitled to receive dividends”

Now that you know the meaning of owning equity, let me define the basics definition of futures vs options trading:

“Futures are like a forward contract whose value is derived from the value of the underlying asset. In the case of companies, the underlying asset is equity share values and in the case of Index, the spot price of Index. The futures contract owners don’t have an ownership right on the asset they are underlined with”

“Options, as the name suggests, gives an option to the buyer, if wants to buy (Call option) or sell (Put option) on or before the expiry of the contract. He buys this right from the option seller by paying a fee (Premium) and the seller is obligated to honor his promise”

Read more: Options Trading 101: The Big Cat of Trading World

Benefits of Futures Contract

Here are a few key benefits of future contracts:

  1. Since Futures derive its value directly from an underlying asset, so any movement in the underlying price has equally proportionate movement in the value futures contract.
  2. The futures contract can be rolled over to next month contract at the same price as the expired contract expiry price.
  3. Futures contract do not face time decay problems as the value is direct proportional to the value of underlying and expiry does not affect its pricing.
  4. Liquidity is one of the most important factor in futures trading. The standing bids and offers make it easier for interested parties to exit and enter positions.
  5. The margin required for trading via futures haven’t changed much in years. They are changed a little bit when the market becomes volatile. So, a trader is always aware of the margin required before taking positions.
  6. The pricing is easier to understand as the values are based on Cost to carry model i.e., the futures price should be the same as the current spot price plus the cost of carry.

Benefits of Options Contract

Here are a few key benefits of Options contracts:

  1. As the name would suggest, the Options contract gives the right to option buyer to exercise his contract if he wishes to. If the Spot price doesn’t go in favor of the buyer of the contract he does not have to exercise his right, he stands to lose just the premium.
  2. One time premium is the only fee that option buyer has to pay to ride the momentum of underlying price and be a part of a bigger game.
  3. If an option seller is of the opposite view to that of option buyer, he can just sell the option contract and pocket premium income.
  4. The options are less risky than equities. Say for example if a trader wants to buy 1000 shares of Reliance, then at CMP (Rs 1400 per share), one has to shed out Rs 14,00,000 (fourteen lakhs). But one can express the same view by buying 2 Call option contracts (500 shares each). Say if he buys At the Money contract of 1410 CE by paying a premium of 35 per lot. Then, his total cost would be = (500*35*2)= Rs. 35000 only. So, now If option were to expire Out of Money for option buyer, he just stands to lose premium only. But, if the share price of Reliance Industries comes down to Rs. 1300, then total loss of equity shareholders will be Rs. 1,00,000 (1000*100).
  5. Return on investment for an option buyer is very high because the cost paid is just the premium and the potential return is unlimited.

Also read: Options Trading Definitions – Must Know Terms for Beginners

Futures vs Options Trading: Which strategy is better?

There is no right answer as to which instrument is better. It all depends on one’s risk appetite, and view on the market. However, here are a few key points to compare which strategy is better:

  1. Options are optional financial derivatives whereas Futures are compulsory derivatives instruments.
  2. The seller of an option is exposed to unlimited risk but the buyer’s risk is limited to the premium paid. But in the case of Futures, both buyer and seller have equal risk associated with their trades.
  3. The options although they can be rolled but have a different premium for different expiry, but in case of futures, they are rolled over at the same price in the next contract.

For example, if someone has bought the Future contract of XYZ Company at Rs. 110 and if upon expiry the price of XYZ is Rs. 105, he can simply roll over the position to next expiry at Rs. 105 and his entry price is not changed. But in case of Option, if an investor bought 110 call options of XYZ Company by paying a premium of Rs. 5 and it expires worthless, then he again has to buy next expiry contract by paying a fresh premium (Say Rs. 7). So to reach the breakeven, the spot price of XYZ Company has to go above Rs. 122(110+5+7).

From the discussion above it is clear that both financial derivatives instruments, Futures vs Options Trading, have their own advantages and disadvantages. One has to be rational, bias-free, use his/her judgment, and have proper risk management to survive long in the trading World. Happy Investing and Happy Money making.

Multi Candlesticks Patterns cover

Understanding Candlesticks – Multi Candle Patterns

Multi Candlesticks Patterns: Hi traders! In the previous article, we discussed the various single candlestick patterns and their importance in understanding the pricing patterns. Here, in this article, we will be talking about various multi candlesticks patterns.

These are patterns generated by a series of prior candles. Single candlesticks patterns along with multiple candlestick study goes a long way in understanding and giving better trade signals in the market.

Here is a list of Multi candlesticks patterns we will be having a discussion on in this chapter: The Engulfing Patterns (Bullish Engulfing pattern and Bearish Engulfing patterns), The Piercing pattern, The Dark cloud cover, The Harami Pattern (Bullish Harami & Bearish Harami), The Candles Gaps, The Morning star, The Evening star, Three White soldiers & Three Black crows.

The Engulfing Pattern

The Engulfing pattern is the most basic two candlestick pattern. The first candle is a relatively small one and the second candle is a bigger one as it engulfs the first candle. If this pattern happens at the bottom of a trend, then it’s called bullish engulfing and if this happens at the top of a trend then it’s called bearish engulfing.

— Bullish Engulfing

Here are a few characteristics

  1. The Bullish engulfing pattern shows Long (buy) trade
  2. The prior trend should be bearish.
  3. The prior candle should be Red.
  4. The engulfing candle should be bigger than previous and covering the whole body of a red candle and should be green.

bullish engulfing - Multi Candlesticks Patterns

In the figure above we see bearish trend prior to the engulfing green candle. Once the engulfing pattern took over, we saw a long bullish trend. One important point to observe here is that the engulfing candle attempts to continue bearish pattern but constant buying and rejection at lows brings in more buyers and ultimately the candle closes green.

The trades to be taken here depends on one’s risk appetite. A risk-taker will execute the trade on the day the trend is made but the risk-averse will wait for confirmation and execute his trade the next day. The Stop loss for this trade has to be below the body of the engulfing candle. In the figure above, the trader with both kinds of a risk appetite would have made a substantial profit.

— Bearish Engulfing

bearish engulfings - Multi Candlesticks Patterns

As the name suggests, the bearish engulfing pattern gives an opportunity for short trades. The prior pattern here has to be a bullish one and the engulfing pattern candle should also give an indication of continuing bullish pattern but due to constant selling pressure, the sellers eventually take over and the candle closes red. The engulfing red candle has to bigger than the prior green candle.

The buying pressure gets exhausted by constant selling. It is advisable to exit long trades when this pattern happens and enter fresh short trades. The risk-taking trader enters short trade on the same day while the risk-averse trade waits for the pattern confirmation and enters into trade the next day. The figure shown below is a classic example of Bearish Engulfment with the engulfing body bigger than previous green candle and substantial bearish trend post that.

The Piercing Pattern

The Piercing pattern is very similar to a bullish pattern with a minor difference. In the case of the piercing pattern, the size of the green candle should be between 50-100 % of the red candle. Say if the size of the red candle is of 100 points, then the piercing candle length should be more than 50 points but less than 100 points. This candlestick pattern has a similar characteristics like Bullish engulfing but the confidence level on trades via piercing pattern is little lesser compared to bullish engulfing.

The Dark Cloud Cover

A mini version of the Bearish Engulfing pattern. A bearish pattern indicator and uptrend halter. Here, unlike the bearish engulfing pattern, the red candle size should be between 50-100 % of the previous green candle. Say, if the size of the green candle is 150 points, then the dark cloud candle should be anywhere between 75-150 points.

The Harami Pattern

I know what comes to mind when you hear the word ‘Harami”. But Harami here is a Japanese word meaning Pregnant. This is generally a trend reversal pattern. The first candle is a big one followed by a candle with a small body. And the color of the second candle is generally different from the first candle. If the second candle turns out to be a Doji candle, the chances of reversal increases.

— The Bullish Harami

the bullish harami - Multi Candlesticks Patterns

In the figure above, we see a bullish Harami encircled. It is a two-day pattern. Following are some of its characteristics:

  1. The prior trend of the market is bearish and on the previous day, the market has made a new low.
  2. On the next day, the candle opens in green as against the expected red candle and hence the panic and shorts start to get covered and the day ends with a green or a Doji candle.
  3. The idea here is to go long at the formation of this pattern.
  4. The risk-taking trader can go long near the close of the day and the risk-averse trader can wait for pattern confirmation and go long the next day.
  5.  The Stop Loss for the trade is below the low of blue or Doji candle.
  6. In an ideal scenario, it is always best to keep trailing stop loss and ride the reversal move.

— The Bearish Harami

the bearish harami - Multi Candlesticks Patterns

In the figure above, we can notice that the bearish Harami in a squared box. It is a trend reverser. The strong bullish trend is halted and a new bearish trend starts. Few characteristics of this pattern:

  1. The prior trend is a strong bullish trend.
  2. The prior candle makes a new high and the next candle opens low against an expectation of new high and hence the panic selling.
  3. One should look to exit his existing longs and enter fresh short trades.
  4. The risk-taker will execute the trade close to the end of the day and the risk-averse trader will wait for the confirmation and enter a trade on the next day.
  5. The stop loss for the trade will be the high of the first red candle.
  6. Here also one should keep trailing the stop losses and ride the full move.

The Candle Gaps

The Gaps are formed when the candle for the next day opens significantly opens up or below the previous day closing.

the candle gap - Multi Candlesticks Patterns

If the market gap ups, it shows buyers enthusiasm. They are willing to pay a higher price. The Image above shows Nifty gaps up and buyers are willing to pay a higher price and the momentum continues. This pattern emerges when we see some overnight positive news and the markets react with a gap up. If the share price of some company gap ups, it usually means some positive management news or good quarterly results or firm receiving some substantial orders, etc.

Similarly, in the case of a Bearish Gap down, we see the market opening below the previous day’s close and selling pressure. In the figure above we see a bearish gap down in nifty index and continued negative momentum post that.

One important thing to keep in mind is that candle gaps are more news-driven or event-based but it has a strong bearing on changing the technical set up of the market.

The Morning Star

The Morning star is a bullish candlestick pattern. It’s a three candlestick pattern. This pattern usually indicates a trend reversal. A sustainable bullish trend is on cards.

the morning star - Multi Candlesticks Patterns

Following is the pattern setup:

  1. The market is in a bearish trend and it’s continuously making new lows.
  2. In the image above, we can see the first candle in the circle is a red candle and a new low is formed.
  3. The next candle starts by making new lows and looks set to go down. But with regular buying, the candle closes by making Doji. It starts to set panic amongst the bears.
  4. The next candle starts above the close of the Doji candle (Gap up opening) and shorts start to exit their position and fresh long positions re-initiated in the market.
  5. The best way to trade this pattern is by entering the market near the close of the third day and by then the trend reversal confirmation is also given by the market. The Stop Loss for this trade is the low of the third candle. Trailing Stop losses is the best strategy to ride this move.

The Evening Star

The evening star is the exact opposite of Morning star. It’s a strong bearish reversal pattern. Similar to the morning star, evening star is also a three candlestick pattern.

the evening star - Multi Candlesticks Patterns

  1. The market is in a bullish trend and it’s continuously making new highs.
  2. In the image above, we can see the first candle in the circle is a green candle and a new high is made.
  3. The next candle starts by making new high and looks set to go higher. But with regular selling, the candle closes by making Doji. It starts to set panic amongst the bulls.
  4. The next candle starts below the close of the Doji candle (Gap down opening) and longs start to exit their position and fresh short positions are initiated in the market.
  5. The best way to trade this pattern is by entering the market near the close of the third day and by then the trend reversal confirmation is also given by the market. The Stop Loss for this trade is the high of the third candle. Trailing Stop losses is the best strategy to ride this move.

Three White Soldiers

The three white soldiers is a bullish reversal candle. The trend prior to the formation of this pattern is bearish. This trend has three green candles formed. The opening of every candle is slightly below the previous days close and it closed above the previous day’s high. One can exit their existing short positions and enter fresh longs to initiate a new trade.

A risk-taking trader can execute trade before the close of the third candle and a risk-averse can execute his trade after the confirmation of the trend. The stop loss for this trade is the low of the first candle.

three white solders - Multi Candlesticks Patterns

Three Black Crows

Three black crows is a bearish reversal pattern. The prior trend is a bullish trend with new highs been made every day. The opening of the candle is slightly above the previous day but the closes is lower than the previous day low. Fresh shorts can be initiated with stop loss over the high of the first candle. One should keep trailing his stop losses as the trade starts to move in their favor.

Also read:

Conclusion

From the discussion above, we see various multi candlesticks patterns which can be useful barometers in the trade execution. There are some patterns that are frequent and followed more regularly and other not so frequent but very reliable patterns.

But by no means, these technical indicators to be followed blindly. One should see the technical factors going around and use informed judgment in executing their trade. “Happy Trading and Money Making!”

Introduction to Candlesticks - Single Candlestick Patterns cover

Introduction to Candlesticks – Single Candlestick Patterns

A Guide to Single Candlestick Patterns: If you want to become a successful stock market trader, it is very important that you learn to read and understand candlesticks or candles. These candlesticks are basically a style of technical chart used to describe price movements of a stock, derivative, or currency. Understanding candlesticks and their patterns can help you to decide the entry and exit points for your trades.

“I just wait until there is money lying in the corner, and all I have to do is go over there and pick it up. I do nothing in the meantime.” – Jim Rogers

In this article, we are going to discuss what are candlesticks and then look into the popular single candlestick patterns that every trader should know. Let’s get started.

What are Candlesticks or Candles?

Candlesticks are the most common form to gauge the market trends, historical analysis, forecasting future. They are the most potent form of technical indicators. Just like a burning candle throws light to present and future, candlesticks with their patterns throw light on the present and goes a long way in understanding the future trends.

A simple candlestick shows the events which transpired within the selected timeframe. It shows us the open, high, low, close of the day (within the timeframe selected). The length of the candle helps us in understanding the volatility of the day. The longer the length of the candle, the more volatile the day and shorter the candle, the less volatile the day.

candlestick high low open close

The candlestick can be said to be a historical indicator as the candlesticks are formed on the already happened market action. But the candlesticks formed goes a long way in understanding the future trends and price patterns.

Before we start understanding the various candlesticks patters, I would recommend keeping the following factors in mind:

  1. “Trend is your friend.” Avoid going against the trend.
  2. One should be very flexible with his views. Stubbornness generally leads to disasters.
  3. Historical data analysis goes a long way in understanding future price patterns.
  4. Avoid taking directional trades on small size candles. Generally, trends are formed after substantially long sized candles.

Single Candlestick Patterns

In simple words, a single candlestick pattern is formed by just one candle. Here, we do not look into multiple or group of candles and the trading signal is generated based on a single day’s trading action. The following are some of the popular Single candlestick patterns we would be discussing in this article: The Spinning top, The Marubuzo, The Doji, The Hammer, The Hanging Man, The Shooting Star.

— The Spinning Top

The Spinning Top unlike any other candlestick formation does not give any clear direction of the trend but has a lot of price action associated with it. A Spinning candle looks like the candle shown below:

the spinning top candlestick

Following are the initial observation looking at the candle:

  1. The body of the candle is very small compared to upper and lower wicks.
  2. The wicks on both sides are generally of similar size.

The spinning although looks like a plain candle but has a lot of price action associated with it. The small main body would imply that the open and close of the candle are very close to each other. Because the open and close are so close to each other, the colour of the candle usually does not signal any trend.

The upper body shows the high for the day. This simply signifies that the bulls did make an attempt to go up but to no avail.

The lower body has similar characteristics like the upper body. This simply signifies that the bears tried to push the market down but were not successful in doing it.

— The Marubuzo

The Marubuzo is again a single candlestick pattern. It is probably the only candlestick pattern in which the prior trend is not given much importance. Only the last candle is given importance.

the marubuzo candlestick

The green line above explains Bullish Marubuzo and the red line represents Bearish Marubuzo.

— Bullish Marubuzo

In Bullish Marubuzo, the open of the candle is low for the day and the close of the candle is high for the day. There are no wicks in this candlestick pattern. This candlestick can also be said to be a trend changing one. The intensity of the buying is so high that the traders are willing to buy the stock at the high of the day. This candlestick patterns simply implies that the buying will continue for the days to come. The recommended buying price is the closing price of the Marubuzo candle.

Theoretically, the open should be low and the close should be high. But in reality, a little bit of variation is allowed.

Let us understand it with the help of a hypothetical example: The XYZ company share price has formed a Marubuzo candle with: Open = 403, High = 450, Low = 400, Close = 449.

Now the trader’s risk profile defines the time of execution of the trade. A Risk-taker would be taking the trade on the day the Marubuzo is formed. So how does this Risk-taking trader gets confirmation about the formation of Marubuzo? The trader basically does that by taking the trade very close to the end of the day.

On the other hand, a Risk-averse trader would be taking the trade the next day once the trend is confirmed. So, a risk-averse trader entry price might be higher than the risk-taking trader but has a better assurance about the pattern formation.

One very important thing to be kept in mind is that one has to be very mindful of the fact that the trade has to be executed with a stop loss in mind. Stop loss helps the trader to minimize the losses because of the inherent risks associated with the trade.

— Bearish Marubuzo

In a Bearish Marubuzo, the open of the candle is high for the day and the low of the candle is close for the day. A bearish Marubuzo indicates that the selling pressure is so high that the trader is willing to sell the share at the lows of the day expecting more negativity in the price of the share. This candle indicates a change in momentum and this changed momentum is set to last over some time.

One should bear in mind that this kind of trades are generally not meant for scalping purposes, they are to held until the trade reaches its desired price. Trailing stop losses is the best strategy.

— The Doji

The Doji is a candle formation that does not have a real body. It just has wicks on either side. So, the opening and closing price of the candles are one and same.

the doji candlestick - Single Candlestick Patterns

The Doji pattern can sometimes be similar to a spinning top except for the fact that Doji does not have any real body. Dojis are generally momentum changer or momentum halter. These candles clearly show the indecisiveness amongst the traders about the momentum and the direction of the market. Let’s examine it with the help of the following situation.

Say the market is in a bullish momentum and has had green candles over a series of days. So, if a Doji candle is formed, it could simply imply the dwindling momentum in the market or could mean an end in current momentum and signal trend reversal. Therefore, it is advisable in this scenario to be cautious and exit the long position or at least one should have stop losses in place. This is generally a time to wait and watch before entering new trades.

Also read: Options Buying vs Selling: Which Strategy to Use?

— The Hammer

The Hammer pattern is one of the most convincing trading patterns simply because of its formation pattern.

the hammer candlestick

The hammer pattern occurs when the candle opens at high but is not able to sustain there and it falls considerably but with continuous buying interest is able to recover and the candle closes in green and near the opening price. The length of the wick here has to be at least twice the size of the body.

In the diagram above, a bullish hammer has formed at the bottom of the bearish trend and the momentum changes significantly after the hammer formation. One Important thing to be kept in mind is that the hammer can be of any colour (green to red) as long as it meets the body to wick ratio. Few characteristics of hammer trade:

  1. The hammer formation generally gives a bullish or a long trade.
  2. The execution time of trade depends on the risk appetite. A risk-taker would execute the trade on the same day and a risk-averse will wait for the confirmation of the trade.
  3. The Stop loss for this trade is generally below the low of the hammer candle.

— The Hanging Man

According to Investopedia, “A hanging man uptrend and warns that prices may start falling. The candle is composed of a small real body, a long lower shadow, and little or no upper shadow. The hanging man shows that selling pressure is starting to increase”.

One important criterion for a candle to be called as a hanging man is that the market has to be in a bullish trend. Just like Hammer, a Hanging man can be of any colour as long as it meets the body to wick criteria. The Stop Loss for the short trades executed via hanging man pattern is the high of the candle.

the hanging man candlestick - Single Candlestick Patterns

— The Shooting Star

As the saying goes, save the best for the last. Probably the most influencing of the single candlestick pattern. The shooting star just looks like an inverted hammer or hanging man. It gives very strong trend reversal signals.

shooting star candlestick

The basic characteristics of the Shooting star are:

  1. The shooting star candle has a long upper wick. Generally, the size of the wick is twice the size of the candle body. The longer the wick, the stronger the pattern.
  2. The shooting star is a bearish reversal pattern, so the preceding trend is bullish.
  3. In general, the shooting star happens on the day when the existing bullish trend is expected to continue.
  4. Once a shooting star candle is formed, it is advisable to exit the long trades or at least put a stop loss and if possible reverse the long positions.
  5. One has to be bias-free when trading this type of formation.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, the above discussion should give us a clear picture of the various single candlestick patterns. All the patterns have their individual strengths. One has to be very aware of the basic mantra in the market: “Trend is your friend, always trade bias-free and always trade with a proper stop loss to be a long survivor in this marathon of trading”.

In the next article, we will be talking about Multi candlesticks patterns along with examples. “Happy Trading and Money Making”

algorithm trading cover 3

What is Algorithmic Trading (Algo Trading)? And how it works?

Technological developments help define the future and we tend to rely on them more and more everyday. Investors are no exception to this rule as they use of technology to take advantage of optimal market conditions and earn high returns.

One such technology is algo trading or algorithmic trading which is a type of stock trading that uses statistical models and equations to run trades on a program designed by the user. Algo trading has become more popular in the last few years as it has been made more accessible to investors. It currently comprises of 35-40 per cent of turnover in Indian Stock Exchanges.

What is algorithmic trading?

An Algorithm is a code that is designed to carry out a certain process. Algorithmic trading uses computer programs to initiate trades at high speeds based on preset conditions such as the stock prices or the current market conditions.

The algorithms can include a level of manual intervention or can be fully electronic also known as zero-touch algos. The trades are initiated based on pre-set quantitative factors, arbitrage opportunities and the client’s preference. In India, the most commonly used algo is the Application Program Interface (API) that lets investors choose their strategy and enter in their requirements. The trades are then executed by the brokers.

For instance, algorithmic trading can be used by a trader who might want to implement trades when the stock price reaches a certain point or falls below a certain level. Based on the current market conditions, the algorithm can recommend how many shares to buy or sell. Once the trader enters the program requirements, they can sit back and relax as the trades automatically take place based on the preset conditions.

What are the benefits of algorithmic trading?

Algorithmic trading automates the trading function which is incredibly advantageous to traders. This makes sure that the trades are carried out at the right time during optimal market conditions which increases the chances of high returns. The traders does not face the risk of missing out on important opportunities in the market.

Another key advantage of algorithmic trading is that it removes human emotion from the trading equation as the trades are defined by preset conditions. This is advantageous because human emotions can cause investors to make irrational decisions based on fear and greed.

Algorithmic trading also allows you to backtest. This essentially means that the algorithms can be tested on past data to see if they have worked in the past or not. This is helpful because it lets the user identify any flaws in the trading system before they run the algorithm on live data.

In addition to this, algo trading reduces the time spent analyzing markets and lowers the associated transaction costs. The numerous benefits have made it a popular tool among investors in many stock exchanges today. 

Strategies used in algorithmic trading

Although the computer initiates the trades, the user still has the ability to input the strategy they wish to use. They can decide the volume, the price and at what time the trade should happen. Therefore the algo strategies used by the investors can have a large impact on their earnings. Here are the most common strategies used in algorithmic trading:

Trend based strategies:

One of the most commonly used algo strategies used is trend-based strategies. The involves following the current trends in the market and executing trades based on that. The trader uses technical indicators such as the moving average and the price level of the stock to assess the market and the system generated recommendations to buy or sell required to fulfill the conditions entered by the trader. This is one of the easiest strategies to implement as the figures are based on historical and current trends with no requirement for complex predictions.

Arbitrage strategy:

An arbitrage opportunity exists in the market when there is a difference in the price of securities on two stock exchanges which can result in a risk-free profit. In algo trading, the arbitrage strategy algorithm is used by the computer program to identify the differences in prices and make use of the opportunity in an efficient way.

The speed and accuracy of algo trading comes into play here because the price difference in the stock may not be high but the high volume of trade can lead to a considerable amount of profit. This arbitrage strategy is most commonly used in forex trading.

arbitrage trading

(Image credits: Corporatefinanceinstitute)

Trading Range or Mean Reversion strategy:

Also known as the counter-trend or reversal, this strategy is based on the principle that although prices go up or down, it is only temporary and they eventually come back to their average price. In this strategy, the program identifies the upper and lower limit of the stock and carries out trades when the price goes above or below this range. The algorithm calculates the mean price of the stock based on historical data and when the price goes out of bounds the trade is executed with the expectation that the stock will come back to its average price.

However, this strategy may not always work as the price may not come back to its average price as quick as expected and the moving average can catch up to the price leading to a lower risk to reward ratio.

Also read: How to read stock charts for beginners?

Conclusion

Algorithmic trading was introduced in India in around 2009 and has been growing in popularity due to its low cost and the availability of skilled resources, especially with traders who trade on proprietary books. SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has also played a positive role in the adoption of algorithmic trading in India which will help further its acceptance and incorporate the trading on a larger scale in stock markets.

Although algorithmic trading is automated, the user still has the authority to choose which strategy to follow depending on various factors. It is especially beneficial for small-time investors who want to increase liquidity in the market making it easy to enter and exit the market while decreasing price inefficiencies in trading stocks.

How to read stock charts for beginners cover

How to read stock charts for beginners?

For anyone looking to actively trade in the stock market, it is essential to know how to read stock charts. A stock chart is a chart that shows the price of a stock plotted on a time-frame that can range from minutes to many years. It serves as an important tool for picking the right stocks and easy to find on websites such as Yahoo Finance or Google Finance.

The ticker symbol of a company can help you find its stock chart. The ticker is a series of letters found in a company’s name (Apple= AAPL). Stock charts can help you identify stock price movements and make decisions on whether to enter, buy, sell or exit the trade.

When you first look at the chart

Stock charts come in various forms, they can be candle charts, bar charts or line charts.

In addition to the view of a stock chart, you also get to pick the time frame. The most commonly used ones are intraday, weekly, monthly, year-to-date (YTD), 5 years, 10 years or even a complete history of the stock.

how to read chart 1-min

(Stocktrader.com)

Once you have picked the chart view and time-frame, it is now time to understand the various features of a chart. For demonstration purposes, we can look at a candlestick chart.

On a candlestick chart, the red candles show downward price movement, while the white (or green) candles show an upward price movement. The chart has numerous technical indicators such as the moving average index (MA), the relative strength index (RSI) and the moving average convergence divergence index (MACD). These technical indicators are used to analyze future price movements.

Support and Resistance lines

how to read chart support and resistance

(Image credits: BabyPips)

The next step is to look for the support and resistance lines. As the name suggests, the resistance line indicates a point which resists the price from rising further. It shows the maximum supply for a stock where the level is always above the current market price. There is a great probability that the stock would rise up to the resistance level, absorb the supply and then decline. For traders, the resistance line is an indicator to sell.

Alternatively, the support line indicates a point that stops a price from falling lower. It shows the maximum demand for a stock in the market. There is a high chance that a stock price will reach the support line, absorb all the demand and then bounce back. The support line is a signal to buy stock.

Below the stock chart is a window that shows the trading volume of the stock. The volume shows how much of the stock has been traded over a period of time. The green bars show the greater buying volume days and the red bar shows the greater selling volume days.

how to read chart

(Image credits: Investors Underground)

Why is the volume important?

The volume of a stock is an important indicator of whether or not to invest in a stock. This is because the trading volume is influenced by the buying and selling of stocks done by big traders, large investment banks, mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). It can be the high-value trading done by these large firms that causes the price of a stock to go up or down.

An individual investor can use the volume as an indicator of buying or selling stock, forecasting future price trends and identifying the support and resistance level. When there is a bullish market- that is investors are optimistic and expect the prices to rise- there is high volume trading on up days and low volume trading on low days. However, during a bear market- when investors are less optimistic- there is high volume trading on down days and low volume trading on up days.

how to read chart

(Investopedia)

Other technical indicators

In order to better understand the price movements and trends in a stock chart, investors use a variety of technical indicators. One such indicator is the 200-day moving average which is a stock’s average closing price in the last 200 days. A high 200-day average signifies a bullish market while a low 200-day average shows a bearish market. In reality, however, when the 200-day average is extremely high it is a sign that the market may soon go down and that investors are far too optimistic and when the 200-day average is low it signifies the reverse. The shorter the moving average, the greater the change in the market.

The 200-day average indicates whether a stock is healthy or not and is often compared to the 50-day moving average. When a stock in the 50 day moving average crosses the 200-day moving average, it achieves the ‘golden cross’ status. That is the stock may go up to a much higher price. On the flip-side, if a stock in 50-day moving average goes below the 200-day moving average, it is known as the ‘death cross’. This means there is a good chance the price of the stock will go down in the future. Technical indicators are used in conjunction with momentum indicators to analyze the direction and strength of a stock’s price movement.

Understand the overall trend of the stock

When looking at a stock chart it is important to understand the upward and downward trend of a stock but you also need to analyze the background of the stock as well. This involves understanding how a particular stock usually trends- does it have low price movements or is it constantly volatile?

Another factor to consider is the possibility of the trends reversing. Momentum indicators such as Relative Strength Index (RSI) or MACD can help identify if a stock has reached its peak giving investors the opportunity to exit the market. Understanding these trends can help you make better decisions about what stocks to purchase.

Also read: Fundamental vs Technical Analysis of Stocks

Conclusion

Knowing how to read stock charts is important for any trader. It provides perspective on the price movements of stocks and will help you make better decisions to improve profitability. Hopefully, this guide gives you a better understanding of how to read stock charts before you start trading. Always remember, by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.