Technical Analysis: A Primer

Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is the analysis of past market statistics to predict the direction of future price moves. The methodology is regarded as a subset of safety evaluation alongside basic analysis.

It frequently contrasts with basic analysis, which may be implemented either on a microeconomic and macroeconomic level. Micro-level basic analysis involves the analysis of earnings, expenses, earnings, assets and liabilities, capital structure, and “soft” components (grade of management staff, competitive position).

Macro-level basic analysis entails the analysis or forecasting of economic development, inflation, credit cycles, interest rate trends, capital flows between nations, labour and resource usage and their cyclicality, demographic trends, central financial and governmental policies and behaviour, geopolitical issues, customer and business trends, and”soft” information (e.g., belief or confidence polls).

Some traders may concentrate in one or another while others will use both approaches to notify their investing and trading decisions.

Most big banks and brokerages have teams that specialize in both technical and fundamental analysis. Generally, the higher quality advice one takes to enhance the likelihood of being correct, the greater one’s trading outcomes are likely to be.

Technical analysts are usually called chartists, which reflects the use of graphs displaying volume and price information to recognize trends and patterns to examine securities. Price trends may include support, resistance, trendlines, patterns of candlesticks (e.g., head and shoulders, reversals), moving averages, and indicators.

For Advanced charting features that make technical evaluation a lot easier to use, we urge the use of TradingView.

Assumptions in Technical Diagnosis

When some investors and traders use both technical and fundamental analysis, most often fall into one camp or another or rely upon one far more significantly in making trading decisions.

Technical analysts trust the methodology because of 2 chief beliefs – (1) price history will be cyclical and (2) prices, volume, and volatility have a tendency to operate in different trends.

Let us go through each separately:

Market Cyclicality

The sequence of events isn’t apt to replicate itself perfectly, however, the routines are usually similar. These may take the shape of short-term or long-term price behaviour.

In the long term, industry cycles are inherently vulnerable to repeating themselves as pushed by credit booms in which debt increases unsustainably over earnings for a time and finally leads to fiscal pain when insufficient money is available to support these debts. This tends to lead to slow progressive profits in stocks and other “risk-on” transactions (e.g., transport trading) through a growth and a sharp drop upon a downturn.

Technicians implicitly think that market participants tend to replicate the behaviour of their previous moves because of the collective, patterned nature of the past. If behaviour is really repeatable, this suggests it may be realized by looking at previous price and quantity information and used to forecast future cost patterns. If traders can find opportunities where behaviour is very likely to be replicated, they could identify transactions in which the risk/reward runs in their own favor.

Thus, there’s the inbuilt premise in technical evaluation that a market’s price discounts all info affecting a specific sector. While basic events affect financial markets, for example news and economic info, if this data is already or instantly reflected in asset costs upon launch, technical evaluation will rather concentrate on identifying price trends and the degree to which market participants worth particular info.

For instance, if US CPI inflation statistics arrive at a tenth of a percent greater than that which was being priced into the marketplace prior to the news release, we could back out just how sensitive the market is to this data by viewing how asset prices respond immediately after.

If US stock futures go down X percent, the US dollar index raises Y percent, and also the 10-year US Treasury yield rise Z percent, we could find a sense of how such financial inputs affect certain niches. Understanding these sensitivities could be valuable for stress testing functions as a kind of risk management. For instance, if inflation were to suddenly move up by 1 percent, we could use data points related to surprise inflation readings to find out the way the portfolio may be affected.

Different Patterns in Price, Volume & Volatility

Another premise behind technical evaluation (and all securities investigation more widely) is that cost doesn’t move based on some “random walk”, or based on no discernible or logical blueprint. Instead it moves based on trends which are equally explainable and predictable.

For instance, if we examine a graph of the EUR/USD out of mid-2013 into mid-2017, we could observe how technical evaluation played a function by taking a look at resistance and support within the context of trend. After the euro started to depreciate against the US dollar due to a divergence in monetary policy in mid-2014, technical analysts should have taken short trades on a pullback to resistance rates in the downtrend context (marked with arrows in the image below). Following that, the fad had diminished and the marketplace entered to consolidation, a tech could have chosen to perform with the range and began taking longs at support whilst shutting any preexisting short positions.

Eur/Usd graph


Initially, technical evaluation was mostly an issue of “reading the tape” or translating the consecutive stream and size of cost and quantity information via a stock ticker. As computers became widespread in the 1970s, information was compiled into graph form and turned into a tech’s benchmark point of reference.

These days, the amount of technical indicators are considerably more numerous. Anyone with coding knowledge applicable to this software application can transform volume or price information into a specific index of interest.

Though technical analysis cannot completely or correctly forecast the future, it’s beneficial to recognize trends, behavioral proclivities, and possible mismatches in demand and supply at which trading opportunities could arise.

Analytical Approaches

There are lots of ways to approach technical investigation. The easiest method is via a fundamental candlestick price graph, which shows cost history and the purchasing and selling dynamics of cost within a predetermined period.

Analytical Approaches: SP-500 graph

(Candlestick price chart by week of the S&P 500)

Others use a price chart together with technical indicators or utilize specific kinds of technical evaluation, like Elliott wave theory or harmonics, to create trade ideas. Some use components of many distinct procedures. At precisely the exact same time, traders should resist the notion of “information overload” or cluttering charts with all these lines and indicators which can negatively affect the ability to understand the graph.

Traders might have a subjective conclusion to their own trading requirements, avoiding the requirement to trade based on a prohibitive rules-based strategy given the uniqueness of every circumstance.

Others might enter trades just when particular rules apply to enhance the objectivity of the trading and prevent emotional biases from influencing its efficiency.

Chart Styles


Candlestick charts are the most typical kind of charting in the modern software. Green (or occasionally white) is usually utilized to portray bullish candles, in which present price is greater than the starting price. Red or black indicates bearish candles and goes to show that the current price is below the opening one.

It reveals the space between opening and closing prices (the entire body of the candle) and also the whole daily variety (from the top of the back to underside of the wick).


(Candlesticks displaying up and down movement in the S&P 500 index) 

The Open-High Low-Close 

A candlestick graph is identical to the open-high low-close graph, also known as a bar line. But instead of the candle’s body showing the difference between the open and close price, horizontal tick marks reflect those stages. The tick for the opening price points to the left (to prove it came from the past) while the other tick points to the right.

The Open-High Low-Close


A line graph uses a line to connect data points, usually from the closing price of each time cycle.

A line graph uses a line to connect data points


An area map is exactly the same as a line map, with shaded space below it. That is mainly intended to make the demand change more clearly visualized in comparison to a line map.

An area map is exactly the same as a line map


Heiken-Ashi graphs use candlesticks as the means of measuring, but use a different statistical price formulation. Instead of the standard protocol for candles converted from simple open-high low-close parameters, prices are smoothed to help suggest pattern price activity according to this formula:

Heiken-Ashi graphs

Common Conditions

Average true range – The scope above a particular time interval, usually every day.

Breakout – When price breaches an area of support or resistance, frequently because of remarkable surge in purchasing or selling volume.

Cycle – Periods where cost action is anticipated to follow a specific routine.

Dead cat bounce – If cost declines in a downward market, there might be an uptick in cost where buyers arrive in believing the asset is cheap or selling overdone. But when sellers induce the industry down further, the temporary purchasing spell is called a dead cat bounce.

Dow Theory – Reviews the Dow Jones Industrial Average (an average of 30 US corporate conglomerates) and Dow Jones Transportation Average alliance. The theory’s adherents note that if one of them is going in a certain direction, the other would definitely follow. Most traders monitor the transport sector because it can provide light into the economy’s wellbeing. A high volume of product imports and sales is indicative of a stable basis for the economy. The Baltic Dry Index is one similar measure.

Doji – A type of candle that is distinguished by little to no difference in price between open and close, indicating consumer indecision.

Elliott wave theory – Elliott wave theory implies that markets operate through significant periods of optimism and pessimism which may be predicted and therefore ripe for trading opportunities.

Fibonacci ratios – Amounts used as a way to determine resistance and support.

Harmonics – Harmonic trading relies on the thought that cost patterns replicate themselves and turning points on the marketplace can be recognized via Fibonacci sequences.

Momentum – The speed of change of price related to time.

Price action – The motion of price, as graphically represented via a graph of a specific sector.

Resistance – A price level in which a preponderance of sell orders might be found, causing price to bounce off down the level. Sufficient purchasing action, normally from increased quantity, is frequently vital to breach it.

Retracement – A change in the direction of the prevailing tendency, anticipated to be temporary, often to some degree of resistance or support.

Service – A price level where a greater size of buy orders could be put, causing cost to bounce the amount upward. The amount won’t hold if there’s sufficient selling action outweighing buying action.

Trend – Price motion which persists in one direction for an extended time period.

Technical Analysis Indicators

Technical indicators involve some statistical or arithmetical conversion of price and/or quantity information to offer mathematical descriptions of up/down motion, resistance and support levels, momentum, fads, deviations in the fundamental trend, ratio(s), correlation(s), one of other delineations.


Average Directional Index (ADX) – Tests total value-based trend strength. 

Average Directional Movement Rating (ADXR) -Measures a trend’s rate of change. 

Commodity Channel Index (CCI) – Identifies emerging trends or cyclical patterns. 

Coppock Curve – Indicator of momentum, initially intended to classify the stock index bottoms as part of a long-term trading strategy.

MACD – Plots the relationship between 2 independent moving averages; formulated as a measure that accompanies momentum.

Momentum – The pace of price change over time. 

Moving Average – A weighted price average to demonstrate the pattern over a set of values. 

Relative Strength Index (RSI) – Standardized momentum oscillator to a scale of 0-100 designed to assess the rate of change over a given period of time.

Stochastic Oscillator – Displays the currents security price or index compared to the user-defined set of high and low values. Used to assess market conditions which are overbought and oversold.

Trix – Shows momentum and trend when combined.


Money Flow Index – Tests the movement of capital in and out of a market for a given period of time.

Negative Volume Index – Made to fully grasp if the “smart money” is busy, under the premise that the wise money is the most busy on low-volume times and much less busy on high-volume days. Indicator targets the daily amount when quantity is down from the prior moment.

On-Balance Volume – Applies volume to predict following changes in cost. Proponents of this index place credence to the thought that if quantity varies using a negative response in the stock, the price move is very likely to follow.

Positive Volume Index – Commonly used together with the negative volume indicator, the index is intended to demonstrate when institutional investors are active under the assumption they are most likely to purchase or sell when quantity is reduced.

Williams Accumulation/Distribution – Takes a peek at differences between safety (or index) price and quantity flow. This was made to ascertain when traders are accumulating (purchasing) or distributing (selling). For instance, when price makes a new low and the index fails to make a new low, this may be taken as a sign that accumulation (buying) is happening.


Breadth indicators decide how powerful or shallow a market movement is.

Advance-Decline Line – Follows how many stocks advanced (obtained in value) within an index versus the amount of shares which diminished (lost value). When an indicator has gained in value but just 30 percent of those shares are up but 70 percent are down or impartial, that is an indication that the purchasing is quite likely only happening in some specific sectors instead of being positive toward the whole sector.

If 98 percent of those stocks are up but just 2% are neutral or down at the start of the market, it indicates that the market may be more trendless and “reversion to the mean” day trading approaches could be effective. But in case a lopsided advance/decline persists, it might indicate that the market may be trending.

Arms Index (aka TRIN) – Combines the amount of shares advancing or decreasing with their volume according to this formula:

(number of stocks that are advancing / number of stocks that are declining) / (volume of stocks that are advancing/ volume of stocks that are declining)

A value below 1 is deemed bullish; a value over 1 is deemed bearish. Volume is measured in the amount of stocks traded rather than the dollar amounts, which is an essential flaw in the index (favors reduced price-per-share stocks, which may exchange in greater volume). Still, it is on display on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange.

McClellan Oscillator – Requires a percentage of the stocks progressing minus the shares falling in an indicator and utilizes two different weighted averages to reach the value. For instance, when price is creating a new low but the oscillator is creating a new high, this may represent a buying opportunity. Conversely, when price is creating a new high but the oscillator is creating a new low, this may signify a selling opportunity.


Overlay indicators are put over the initial price graph.

Bollinger Bands – Uses a basic moving average, which plots two lines above and below two standard deviations to create a spectrum. Also employed by traders employing a mean reversal technique where price change is “stretched” over or below the bands and theoretically supposed to return inside the bands.

Channel – 2 parallel trend lines set to picture a consolidation pattern of a specific direction. A breakout above or under a channel could possibly be interpreted as a show of a new trend and a prospective trading opportunity.

Fibonacci Lines – An instrument for resistance and support generally made by imitating the index from the low and high of a current trend.

Ichimoku Cloud – Made to be an “all-purpose” index that provides resistance and support, momentum, trend, and generates trading signs.

Moving Average – A trend line that varies based on new price inputs. For instance, a 50-day easy moving average could signify the average cost of the previous 50 trading days. Exponential moving averages weight the line more significantly toward current rates.

Parabolic SAR – Intended to discover short-term reversal patterns on the marketplace. Generally only suggested for markets that are trending.

Pivot Points – Commonly used by day traders to discover possible market reversal amounts.

Trend line – A sloped line formed from a few peaks or troughs on the price chart. A break below or above a trend line may be reminiscent of a breakout.

Non-Chart Based

Not all technical evaluation relies on calculating or arithmetical transformations of cost. Some technical analysts rely upon sentiment-based polls from customers and companies to gauge where prices may be going.

When investor sentiment is powerful one way or other, polls may serve a contrarian indicator. If the marketplace is extremely bullish, this may be regarded as a indication that nearly everyone is totally spent and a handful of buyers stay on the sidelines to drive up prices further. This may indicate that prices are somewhat more prone to trend down. Or at least, the danger related to being a purchaser is greater than if belief was slanted another way.