# How Effective Are Pivot Points for Making Predictions?

Pivot points are a valuable tool in the trader's arsenal, offering insights into potential support and resistance levels in the market. These key price levels help traders make informed decisions about entry and exit points, risk management, and overall market trends. In this article, we will explore the concept of pivot points, how to calculate them, alternative methods, and their practical application in trading.

Understanding Pivot Points A pivot point is a technical analysis indicator or calculation used to determine the overall trend of the market over different time frames. It is derived from the high, low, and closing prices of the previous trading day. The pivot point itself is a simple average of these three prices, acting as the central point of reference for the day's trading.

Calculating Pivot Points There are various methods for calculating pivot points, but the most common one is the five-point system. This system takes the previous day's high, low, and close and uses them to derive the pivot point along with two support and two resistance levels, resulting in a total of five price points. The equations for this method are as follows:

• Pivot Point = (Previous High + Previous Low + Previous Close) / 3
• Support 1 (S1) = (Pivot Point * 2) - Previous High
• Support 2 (S2) = Pivot Point - (Previous High - Previous Low)
• Resistance 1 (R1) = (Pivot Point * 2) - Previous Low
• Resistance 2 (R2) = Pivot Point + (Previous High - Previous Low)

It's essential to use the high, low, and close from the day's standard trading hours when calculating pivot points for stocks that trade during specific hours. In 24-hour markets like the forex market, pivot points are often calculated using New York closing time (4 p.m. EST) for the close of a trading session.

Pivot points can also be calculated for longer timeframes, serving swing traders and, to some extent, day traders, by using data from the previous week.

Alternative Methods There are alternative methods to calculate pivot points, such as incorporating the opening price into the formula. This modification can provide a different perspective on support and resistance levels, potentially influencing trading decisions.

Another pivot-point system developed by Tom DeMark offers unique rules and calculations, allowing traders to explore different options.

Interpreting and Using Pivot Points Pivot points are versatile tools that can be used in two primary ways:

1. Determining Market Trends: A pivot point breaking upward suggests a bullish market trend, while a downward break indicates a bearish trend.

2. Setting Entry and Exit Points: Traders can use pivot point levels to decide when to enter or exit the market. For instance, they may set a limit order to buy when the price breaks a resistance level or establish a stop-loss near a support level.

The Role of Trader Skill While pivot points can be helpful, their effectiveness is contingent on the trader's ability to use them in conjunction with other technical analysis tools. No single indicator can guarantee success in trading. Traders should consider combining pivot points with indicators like MACD, candlestick patterns, moving averages, or other tools to strengthen their analysis.

Accuracy of Pivot Point Trading Pivot points have a strong track record for accuracy, aiding traders in identifying potential entry and exit points. However, like any trading indicator, they are not infallible. There will be instances when price movements do not align with pivot point predictions. Traders should recognize the limitations of any tool and use them as part of a comprehensive trading strategy.

Disadvantages of Pivot Points The primary disadvantage of pivot points is that they are not foolproof. Prices may not always reach the levels indicated on the trader's chart, leading to unsuccessful trades. It is crucial for traders to manage their risk effectively and avoid solely relying on pivot points for decision-making.

Pivot Point Time Frames Pivot points can be calculated and applied to various time frames, ranging from one minute to 15 minutes, depending on a trader's preferred trading horizon. The choice of time frame should align with the trader's strategy and objectives.

In summary, pivot points are a valuable tool for traders, providing insights into potential support and resistance levels. While pivot point trading has a high degree of accuracy, it should be used in conjunction with other technical indicators and within the context of a well-thought-out trading strategy. Traders who master the art of interpreting and using pivot points effectively can gain a competitive edge in the financial markets.

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