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What is a short position?

A short position is a sale made by an investor for a security which he or she will deliver to the buyer in the near future, but which he or she is hoping will go down in price in the near future so that a profit can be retained from the price collected in the short sale. A short position is a bearish play on a security which an investor believes will decrease in price in the near future. The investor offers shares for sale, and collects the current market price for the shares from the buyer. Continue reading...

What is a Long Position?

A long position - or to be “long a stock” - means that an investor has share ownership and will receive an economic benefit if the share price rises, and vice versa. Creating and maintaining a long position is simple: an investor just buys and owns the investment. A “long-only” strategy refers to an asset manager that only buys and sells securities in the portfolio as a management strategy - they will not use options or shorting strategies as a result. Continue reading...

What Does Having a Long Position Mean?

A long position in a security means owning shares and having a positive investment balance in a stock, bond, commodity, etc. This is done by simply buying and owning the investment. An investor with a long position in a stock will benefit financially when the price of the stock rises. What is a Short Position? What is Short Selling? Continue reading...

What is the Positive Volume Index?

The Positive Volume Index (PVI) is a technical indicator that tracks increases in trade volume for an index or security, as well as the changes in price on those days. Paul Dysart developed the original version of this indicator for market indexes using advance-decline numbers instead of prices. The Positive Volume Index was then redesigned by Norman Fosback for individual securities – the version commonly used today. Continue reading...

What factors affect currency exchange rates?

Currency exchange rates will fluctuate with various macroeconomic factors such as inflation, interest rates, trade balance, and so on, as well as political climate. Currency exchange rates are influenced by a number of factors, with some experts listing 5, some experts listing as many as 10. The main variables that will affect exchange rates are inflation rates, interest rates, the trade balance / current account, speculation in Forex markets, and government policies and interventions. Continue reading...

What is a long position in options trading?

To be “long” means to own a security, and to essentially be bullish on it. A long position is to own a security and to expect it to appreciate. When people buy stocks, they are “long” those stocks. Listening to fund managers giving market commentary, you may hear them say they are “long” on China or Industrials or Apple Inc., and this means that even though they may have hedged their position with some “short” sales, their outlook for those markets is optimistic and their bullish bets outweigh their bearish ones. Continue reading...

What are foreign exchange reserves?

Central banks and sometimes other banks and large corporations, hold reserves in foreign currencies as a hedge against exchange rate risk and perhaps to satisfy the liquidity needs of positions they may have in Forex derivatives. Central banks and large institutions which engage in international trade and Forex transactions will find it prudent and sometimes necessary to hold substantial reserves in a foreign currency. Central banks frequently engage in various types of Forex transactions to balance their exposure to trends, risks, and other effects in the currency market. Continue reading...

What is a short position in options trading?

Taking a short position is selling a security that you don’t own because you anticipate that its value is set to fall. In simple terms, an investor that takes a short position is betting against it. “Shorting” is the opposite of being “long” in a security, where being “long” means to actually own it and to wait for it to appreciate. When you contact your broker or custodian to take a short position on a security, you essentially sell shares you don’t own, and then after a period, you have to return those shares to the custodian. Continue reading...

What kind of hedge funds exist?

Hedge funds can employ many strategies and focus on virtually any kind of investing style or market. They also have the flexibility to change their strategy as they see fit. Morningstar and other services will group hedge funds into categories and provide benchmarks based on their average performances. As of 2016, there are over 12,000 hedge funds, and over half of those are required to report to the SEC. Continue reading...

What is a short squeeze?

A short squeeze occurs when many short-sellers attempt to cover their positions at the same time, and it drives prices up rapidly. A short squeeze is a bottleneck situation where many investors who have sold a security short, suddenly become very interested in covering their positions - usually, because the stock starts on a strong uptrend. The squeeze will actually cause the price of the security to rapidly increase, more than it would otherwise, because so much demand has hit the security at once. Continue reading...

What is a put time spread?

A put time spread is an options strategy that has the investor implementing a short put and a long put at the same strike price, but with different expirations. Time spreads can also be called calendar spreads or horizontal spreads. A put time spread will use two put contracts on the same underlying security but with different expiration dates. One of the puts will be sold short, and one will be held long (this is the nature of spreads). Continue reading...

What is a time spread?

A ‘Time Spread,’ also called a Calendar Spread or a Horizontal Spread, involves the use of multiple options of the same type (either all calls or all puts), with the same strike price but different expiration dates. Generally traders will sell a near-term option (take a short position) and buy a far-term option (take a long position). The strategy is virtually identical whether calls or puts are used. Continue reading...

What is the Dead Cat Bounce (Bearish) Pattern?

The Dead Cat Bounce pattern appears when a security's price falls quickly but has a temporary “v­-shaped” recovery before resuming its downward trend. The temporary bounce (from point 2 to point 3) may be explained by shorters covering their positions or buying by investors who think the price has already reached a low point. It is important to wait for the confirmation move, which is when the price breaks below the low where the dead cat bounce occurred (point 2). Continue reading...

What is the commodity futures trading commission?

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is an independent government agency that regulates the futures market. Futures are not considered securities, so the CFTC has jurisdiction over such exchanges while the SEC does not. The CFTC is the regulatory authority for the futures trade. This includes futures on currency, indexes, and stocks. Futures are not technically considered securities, because a security is defined as a contract that depends on the performance of a third party, while futures contracts only depend on two people. Any options that stem from futures are considered securities, however. Continue reading...

What is the Rectangle Bottom (Bearish) Pattern?

The Rectangle Bottom pattern forms when the price of a security is stuck in a range­bound motion, bouncing between support and resistance levels. Two horizontal lines (1, 3, 5) and (2, 4) form the pattern. Depending on who gives up first ­ buyers or sellers ­ the price can Breakout in either direction. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets. Usually the pattern performs better when there is a strong downtrend leading into the formation. Continue reading...

What is the Rectangle Top (Bearish) Pattern?

The Rectangle Top pattern forms when the price of a security is stuck in a range­bound motion, and it bounces between support and resistance levels. Two horizontal lines are formed (top: 1, 3, 5) and (bottom: 2, 4) as a result. Depending on who gives up first – buyers or sellers – the price can Breakout in either direction. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets. Usually the pattern performs better when there is a strong uptrend leading into the formation. Continue reading...

What is the Three Falling Peaks (Bearish) Pattern?

The Three Falling Peaks pattern forms when three minor Highs (1, 3, 5) arrange along a downward­-sloping trend line. This pattern often emerges at the end of a rising trend, when a security slowly rolls over. It potentially indicates sellers moving ­in to replace buyers, which pushes the price lower. If the price breaks out from the bottom pattern boundary, day traders and swing traders should trade with the DOWN trend. Consider selling the security short or buying a put option at the downward breakout price level. To identify an exit, compute the target price by subtracting the pattern’s height (maximum price minus minimum price within the pattern) from the breakout level ­ the lowest low. When trading, wait for the confirmation move, which is when the price moves below the breakout level. Continue reading...

What is the Head-and-Shoulders Top (Bearish) Pattern?

The Head and Shoulders pattern has five points to it. There is the left shoulder, the left side visit to the neckline area, the head, the right side visit to the neckline, and the right shoulder. A head and shoulders pattern appears as a baseline with three peaks, the outside two are close in height and the middle is highest. The image below is an example of the bearish head and shoulders pattern: Continue reading...

What is the Broadening Bottom (Bearish) Pattern?

The Broadening Bottom pattern forms when a security price makes higher highs (2, 4) and lower lows (1, 3, 5) following two widening trend lines. The price is expected to move up or down past the pattern depending on which line is broken first. What distinguishes a Broadening Bottom from a Broadening Top is that the price of the security is declining prior to entering the pattern formation. This type of formation happens when volatility is high or increasing, and when a security's price is moving with high volatility but or no direction. It potentially indicates growing investor nervousness and a little indecisiveness. Continue reading...

What is the Broadening Top (Bearish) Pattern?

The Broadening Top pattern forms when a security price makes higher highs (1, 3, 5) and lower lows (2, 4) following two widening trend lines. The price is expected to move up or down past the pattern depending on which line is broken first. What distinguishes a Broadening Top from a Broadening Bottom is that the price of the security is rising prior to entering the pattern formation. This type of formation happens when volatility is high or increasing, and when a security’s price is moving with high volatility but little or no direction. It indicates growing investor nervousness and indecisiveness. Continue reading...