Day trading charts are one of the most important instruments in your arsenal. But it can be tough to distinguish Renko from Heikin Ash, or judge the best period from 5-minute, intraday or per tick charts. Here we clarify day trading charts, define free graph items and hopefully convert those trading without charts.
This page breaks down the best trade charts, including bar charts, candlestick charts and line charts. It will then provide instructions on how to customize and view your graphs. Finally, you’ll get top tips on where to get the best free charting apps and be paid for it.
TradingView provides all the live price charts on this platform, which offers a variety of accounts for those looking to use advanced features.
Best Charts For Day Trading
There are a number of different day trading charts out there, from charts by Heiken-Ashi and Renko to charts by Magi or Tick charts. Your job is to find one that best fits your specific style of trade.
Each one offers its own advantages and disadvantages. Day trading, however, is especially common in combo with candlesticks and bar charts, as they provide more detail than a simple line chart.
The line charts are among the most common forms of intraday trading charts. Still, they’ll just give you the closing price. You will always opt for a time frame, but for that duration, the chart will only display the closing rates, say five minutes, for instance.
Then, each closing price is linked with a continuous line to the next closing price. A line diagram is useful to cut through the noise and it givse you a quick summary of where the price was. However, as vital information is missing, you wouldn’t want to base your trading decisions solely on those details.
Bar & Candlestick Charts
Many of the trade maps you see online will be maps of bars and candlesticks. They give you the most detail, in an simple format to navigate. Simply put, they indicate where the price has gone over a given period of time.
The bar/candle size depends on the time frame you have selected. Let’s assume you generate the price bar or candle every five minutes. Bar and candlestick charts will display the first transaction price that took place at the start of the five-minute transaction plus the highest and lowest transaction prices during that time. You’ll also see the final price (closing) of the five-minute duration as well.
Further tips on determining the best intervals for day-trading charts can be found below.
Bar charts consist of vertical lines reflecting the price spectrum for a given period of time. The horizontal lines reflect prices which are open and closing prices. The line will typically be black if the opening price is lower than the closing price, and red for vice versa.
Bar charts are an extension of line charts essentially incorporating open, high, low and close lines. They remain fairly straightforward to read, while giving you a few critical line charts for trading fail in that aspect.
Day trading is not popular with tick charts but some traders swear by it. Based on a given number of transactions, the bars on a tick chart grow. So, every 415 transactions a 415 tick-chart produces a new bar.
They allow you to easily plan your entries so that is why many say tick charts are best for day trading. It won’t be influenced by time, so you may have a bar form every minute in times of high trading activity, but it could take several hours in slow periods. This means a tick chart can give you more important details in times of high volume than many other charts.
If you’re day trading, the pdf of a heikin-ashi charts is likely to come across your computer somewhere. This type of chart for candlesticks originated from Japan in the 1700s.
Why are people using them, then? Since a lot of irrelevant detail is filtered out, you get a crystal clear view of a pattern. This makes it best suited for beginners. But for seasoned traders they come in handy too. The Heiken-Ashi chart is designed to help keep you in trending trades and make spotting reversals easy.
When you want to ease yourself into day-trading charts, find a Renko map. ‘Renko’ comes from bricks, or ‘renga’ in Japanese. A Renko chart will show you just the change in price position. You won’t get any hint of the time or length.
When the price reaches the top or bottom of the previous brick, the next column positions a new brick. When the trend goes upwards, you can see white bricks, and black bricks when the trend goes down. They are especially useful for identifying the main levels of support and resistance.
All a Kagi chart needs is the percentage reversal you decide or the price shift. Then, if the price switches by the pre-determined sum of the reversal in the opposite direction, the chart shifts direction.
In a Kagi map you can see different line widths. When the market outstrips a prior swing, the line will thicken. Likewise, the line will thin as it heads under a previous swing.
Kagi charts are perfect for day trading, as the break-out of swing highs and lows is emphasised. It’s also great to find support and level of resistance so you can track market bias.
You’ll see a lot of day-trading charts online – 1, 5, 15 and 30 minutes, for example. All types of chart have a time frame, usually the x-axis, and this will decide how much trading information they display.
Although most are time-based, others will concentrate on trades numbers. The most popular are:
- Price range
An example of a time frame is a 5-minute chart. A new price bar will appear every 5 minutes showing you the price moves for those 5 minutes. During that time frame, any number of transactions may occur, from hundreds to thousands.
Specifying a time period will be needed for part of your day trading chart setup. When you don’t want to be stuck to your phone all day, you may want to use a lower time frame. If you’re planning to be there for the long haul then maybe a higher time period will match you better.
It is basically because a 15-minute chart can only produce a small number of bars if you’re trading for only a few hours. With such little knowledge it will fail to produce a useful signal, no matter how good your chart program is.
There’s another explanation for why you need to find time for day trading in your chart setup – technical indicators. For the time-frames available, not all metrics function the same. You can find lagging indicators which function best with less variability, such as moving averages. For your daily chart, you will then benefit from a longer moving average time than if you were using the same setup on a 1-minute map.
When it comes to time frames there’s no wrong and right answer. Just note this when you’re reading the day trading charts – how long are you going to be on your computer waiting for the signals to be shown? Secondly, in which time frame do the technological metrics you are using work best?
Understanding Day Trading Charts
So, you had your chart set up. But, now you have to get to grips with the study of the day chart trading. If you can’t read the lines, ticks and bars to get your hands on them, there’s no point getting a chart with all the answers.
You will be faced with a sea of colors and lines that will just slow down the decision-making process if you have too many indicators. Many err in cluttering their charts and are unable to interpret all the details. Take some of the most common indicators, instead:
- Volume indicator – This won’t tell you how the price will go, but it will let you know if a large number of transactions are being made and whether the major players are in the market.
- Simple moving average (SMA) – One of the most prevalent indicators among intraday traders is a 10-period moving average. It will highlight early a big change in prices and show you in which direction they move. Choose a slower moving average and you can lose income when the patterns come to an end or set back.
- Average true range (ATR) – This shows an objective picture of variance based on the instrument’s actual size. This gives you no choice but to make an individual assessment of every security. This helps to ensure that trading decisions are made correctly.
- Oscillators – This is a collection of indicators that generally migrate from the upper boundary to the lower. They come in handy when a pattern is not apparent. RSI, MACD, and Commodity Channel Index (CCI) are the most common of those.
How do you know when to enter and exit a positions, with thousands of trade opportunities on your chart? You need to look out for the best market trends of the day. Patterns are good because they help you predict potential changes in prices. They work on the basis of ‘repeating history’.
For example, stock chart patterns can help you recognize trend reversals and continuations. Usually you can consider two patterns in your review of the charts, breakouts and reversals. The former comes when the price on your chart reaches a predetermined point. The latter is when a market pattern shifts course.
This lists some of the most common patterns below.
- Morning consolidation
- Late consolidation
- Little to zero price retracement
- Spring at support
- Outside bar at support or resistance
- Cup and handle
- Ascending triangle
- Descending triangle
- Triple bottom
- Head and shoulders
From day trading applications to cloud based sites, you can get a whole range of chart tools. Effective charting software lets you build visually appealing charts easily. Only a few clicks away you will also have all the basic analyzes and tools.
Most brokerages offer you charting software, but some traders opt for advanced, additional software. If you’re new to day trading by using charts then your broker should offer you basic software which should do the job.
All the common charting tools below offer line charts, bar charts, and candlesticks. They additionally all offer comprehensive options for customization:
- MetaTrader – If you are searching for regular fx chaps, it’s perfect. Trading with MetaTrader provides in-depth and easy to navigate charts. You do get a multitude of time frames to choose from.
- eSignal – eSignal provides comprehensive customization but a fairly restricted technical indicator range. It’s perfect for beginners looking to get acquainted with trading maps.
- NinjaTrader – This low-cost integrated trading and charting software program offers crystal-clear maps in any format. You will also benefit from analysis tools and a handy simulator for trading.
- Sierra Chart – Not only does this trading platform make it easy to set up charts but you also get comprehensive tools for technical analysis. It also offers a demo account, plus historical and real-time info.
- TradeStation – The accessibility and multi-data charts offer you benefits. In addition, you get access to the risk indicators and a range of smart drawing tools.
If you want the charting program totally free, find more than adequate examples in the next section.
The good news is that several day trading charts are offered for free. You get much of the same metrics and methods for technical analysis you will get in paid live charts. You can also see that some of the free options give a place for traders to follow seasoned traders, and speak to each other about instruments and markets.
These free chart sites are the ideal place for beginners to find their feet, providing you with top tips on reading map. Some will give demo accounts as well. These allow you to trade with simulated money first while you find your feet. These are great for trying out a variety of different charts before you find the best one to match your style of trading.
Some of the most popular free trading charts available online are:
- Technician – For both U.S. stock markets and fx, you can get real-time day charts. However, you will be getting delayed data from global stock exchanges and futures markets.
- TradingView – On 1, 3, 5, and 15-minute time scales, you can get real-time market charts. FX and Bitcoin charts can also be accessed when futures data is delayed. Hundreds of technological indicators, and the ability to set up watch lists and risks, will be available.
- FreeStockCharts – You get chart trading for cryptos, futures, commodities and all the other major markets. You will be given time frames of 1, 2, 3, 5, 10 and 15 minutes to choose from. You can save portfolios, create numerous chart formats and take advantage of a whole range of technical indicators and drawing tools.
This page explained in depth the trading charts. And you should know a lot of valuable knowledge is missed out when day trading without maps. Using them correctly will help you scour through previous price data to help you better forecast future changes. There is a host of tools for charting out there including some free options. Look for charts that provide generous customization options, giving you a variety of technical resources to help you recognise telling patterns.