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What is trend analysis?

Trend analysis is an attempt to explain market movements as general directional tendencies of various strength over various time frames. Trend analysis also works to predict future movements based on the probability of a trend continuing. The use of moving averages with support and resistance levels is the most commonly used methodology in trend analysis, and several trading strategies employ these tools in various ways. Trade volume, spreads, news, crossover points, and other market factors are also considered in the discipline. Continue reading...

What is Volume?

Volume is a count of trades in a security or market, or their derivative instruments and can be indicative of trends and sentiment. Volume is the number of trades in a security or market in a given time. Trade volume is important because it helps analysts pick apart the factors driving a trend or get an idea of the strength of a trend. Potential buyers and sellers can push the Bid and Ask prices around at will, hypothetically, but a trade only occurs when the buyer and seller transact business; also, even only a minimal number of trades can move prices around, but this is not indicative of a strong trend — a few trades more and the price is where it was before. Continue reading...

What is a resistance line?

A resistance line is the inverse of a support line and represents the glass ceiling through which a security price has difficulty breaking through. Resistance lines are calculated as part of analysis methods which use moving averages and standard deviation, or similar calculations, to put a range of probability on the expected movement of a security price, with the resistance line representing the top of that range. Continue reading...

Is there any merit to the momentum theories?

The momentum theory has many fans for its useful and relatively simple nature. The momentum theory basically states that markets which are moving either up or down for some period of time cannot suddenly reverse their course. Utilizing these strategies means jumping on a freight train, riding it for a short period of time, and jumping off before it stops and reverses direction. It is hard to argue with the this one, but it may be hard to find momentum strong enough for an investor’s taste in certain market environments, which might mean spending too much time on the sidelines, and due to the frequent active trading involved, the investor will incur fees and be susceptible to emotions and media hype. Continue reading...

Is there any merit to technical analysis of the markets?

Securities in the market can be analyzed on technical levels or fundamental ones, and it is generally best to take both into account, despite the fact that some theories dispute the merits of technical analysis. Some might say that fundamental analysis is all that you need to make wise investment decisions, and to some extent that is actually correct: at a minimal level, if all you had were fundamentals, you could make wise investment decisions. That does not mean, however, that all technical analysis is superfluous. Continue reading...

What are the basics of technical analysis?

What does it mean to technically analyze a stock or other security? Technical analysis involves identifying price ranges, trend momentum, and points of possible reversals via graphical representations of the math behind price movements, examining information to the second or third derivative, and using trial-and-error with formulas. Geometry, calculus, physics, and finance all play a part in this methodology. Continue reading...

What is divergence analysis?

The analysis of convergence and divergence between indexes and other data seeks to find leading indicators where there is confirmation or non-confirmation of trends. Dow Theory was one of the first examples of such thinking. Charles Dow would watch the movements of Industrials and the Rail and compare the uptrend or downtrend of each. Where trends do not line up (e.g., one is trending downward with lower troughs and the other has “higher lows”) there is “divergence”, and non-confirmation of what was thought to be a trend in one index. Continue reading...

What are trading models?

Trading models are emotionless systems for decision-making in trading that can be automated or just used for reference. They tend to have logical parameters, such as “if x, then y” which can use popular trading indicators to implement a strategy that might only be used in certain conditions. Trading models are strategies employed with a specific design. Different trading models will use different technical indicators or types of charts to define and search for certain conditions in which a strategy can be used. Once the conditions are met, the model provides the decision-making logic that is intended to carry out a profitable trade without guesswork or emotion. Continue reading...

What is quantitative analysis?

The attempt to represent events and phenomena mathematically and to thereby make reality more understandable is called quantitative analysis. To quantify something from the real world, an analyst will translate the factors and variables present in a real event into a coding system which will allow it to be represented in mathematical or computational symbology. The quantitative analysis that follows will attempt to create formulas and test them for external validity and replicability. Continue reading...

What are market cycles?

Markets are said to experience cycles of various length and magnitude. Cycles tend to be defined in retrospect and it is not always evident what part of a cycle the market is in. Cycles can be of various length and magnitude, with current cycles existing as minor subtexts of the larger cycles. In Elliott Wave Theory, for instance, cycles of various levels exist simultaneously, with the longer cycles exhibiting “self-similar” patterns to the shorter-term cycles, as in naturally occurring fractals in nature (since Elliott’s theory is that the market is a natural phenomenon, just like the breeding cycles of rabbits). Continue reading...

What is fourier analysis?

Fourier Analysis is a mathematical method of identifying and describing harmonic patterns in complex oscillating environments, and is used in options pricing among other things. Fourier Analysis is used to compute the probability that results will be within a certain range. Fourier analysis also has many other applications in physics, engineering, and music, for instance, because it can create a system for identifying patterns and simplifying computations for complex systems which feature oscillations and waves which have frequencies. Continue reading...

What is Investment Analysis?

Investment analysis is the practice of evaluating assets or securities in terms of value, risk and return, as well as correlation with other assets. It is to determine their possible place within various strategies and portfolios. Some analysis will be done seeking the best option for specific asset classes, some analysis will focus on the best overall portfolio for a given situation. Analysis is done using quantitative metrics and indicators, some of which can be considered fundamental analysis tools and some of which are technical analysis tools. Continue reading...

What is a support line?

A support line represents an estimation of where a price is likely to stop moving downwards, based on recent data and analysis methods. It is arrived at with different formulas for different indicator methods, but it is generally a line derived from moving averages and standard deviation which represents a lower level at which traders would expect a price to rebound back upwards. Several methods of technical and fundamental analysis plot a support line or two as part of a graphical representation of trends. Theoretically, a price will only deviate so far from its moving average before bouncing back toward the middle. Continue reading...

What is technical analysis in trading?

Technical analysis is a method of evaluating the worth and probable future direction of security prices using charts and data concerning prices and volume. This is the counterpart to fundamental analysis, which looks at the physical operations of a company and their place in the market to determine value. Those who practice technical analysis are sometimes called “quants” or chartists because they believe that the most important information about a security will be found in the data on the price, volume, and the moving averages and volatility associated with them. Continue reading...

What is Directional Movement Index (DMI)?

The Directional Movement Index (DMI) combines the average directional index (ADX), plus directional indicator (+DI), and minus directional indicator (-DI) into one graph that depicts the strength of positive or negative market forces. By plotting the directional indicators together with the ADX line, traders can get a sense of overall movement and determine a trend’s strength and direction. The DMI is a useful illustration of a key point: the ADX is most useful when combined with other indicators to determine whether it makes sense to trade with a trend. The ADX normally depicts three lines in order to give traders an accurate depiction of both the strength and direction of trends: the Plus Directional Indicator (+DI) and Minus Directional Indicator (-DI), as well as the ADX lines. The DIs indicate trend direction, while the ADX depicts trend strength. Continue reading...

Is there any merit to fundamental analysis of the markets?

Fundamental analysis has been around for a long time, and will probably always remain relevant. Fundamental Analysis is the oldest and most well-established market theory. Fundamental analysis is to take all the real-world information about a company into account when evaluating securities and to acknowledge that the shares are what they are: partial ownership in a company. It follows that someone should know about the company and its earnings potential. Continue reading...

Is there any merit to the “Elliot market waves theory?”

The Elliot Wave theory essentially uncovers larger trends and investor sentiment by smoothing and “zooming out” from market price action. Elliot Waves zoom out on market price action by using larger-interval moving average and smoothing out price information to reveal larger trends. He was one of the first to attempt such a theory, and his foundations may have contributed to the use of Fourier Analysis and Fibonacci Sequences in market analysis. Continue reading...

What is the Elliott Wave Theory?

Elliot Wave Theory incorporates the natural cycles of nature and waves with market movements in an attempt to explain and predict the historical and future prices of stocks. Penned by Ralph Elliott in the early 20th century, the Elliott Wave Theory attempts to organize the seemingly random behavior of the market into cycles. The theory visualizes a series of waves cycles, each representing a different length of time or magnitude of a trend or cycle. Continue reading...

What are Envelopes and Trading Bands?

Moving average envelopes and trading bands help traders filter their decisions to trade. These tools set thresholds on the amount of movement above and below a moving average to trigger a decision to trade (or at least prompt further consideration by the trader). A moving average envelope often takes a moving average line for a security or index and duplicates it, moving one line a certain percentage above and one a certain percentage below (the distance may depend on volatility levels). Price fluctuations in a security then might trigger a decision to sell when the price hits the upper band, or a decision buy when the price hits the lower band. If it crosses the bands it might be seen as a new trend. Continue reading...

How to use the average directional index in trading?

Trend traders can use the Average Directional Index (ADX) technical indicator to spot and confirm the strength of a trend in a security, then combine the ADX reading with other indicators to determine whether it makes sense to trade with the trend. Click here to view the current news with the use of other Technical Indicators Technical Indicators are charting tools that appear as lines on charts, or as other kinds of graphical information, and serve as guidelines for buying and selling opportunities. Traders use technical indicators like the ADX to make predictions about future prices. They verify how well a specific indicator works for a particular security, often by calculating the odds of success under similar market conditions to guide their actions. Continue reading...