Using a Complete Data Set for Stock Pick Analysis

The Importance of Volume

In the early days of Technical Analysis all of the data from the Stock Market was not readily available, in a format that could be hand-drawn on a chart. The earliest chartists had to create their charts using either Point and Figure, Line, or Bar Charts. Candlesticks were not introduced to the western markets until the 1990’s. 

Data that was used on the earliest charts was primarily Price and Time. Quantity aka Volume was seldom included and it was fine to focus solely on Price, because there were only a few exchanges and it was only rarely that off-exchange orders were filled.

Nowadays there are some 70+ Alternative Trading Systems ATS and Exchange venues. Since the bulk of orders now filled off-exchange are in Dark Pool ATS venues, Volume has become a critical indicator in order to fully understand the dynamics of Price. Adding Volume and Volume leading indicators provide the missing data which is crucial in the automated marketplace needed for using a Complete Data Set for Stock Pick Analysis.

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High Frequency Trading Firms HFTs are here to stay and are now an integral part of the “market making” computing community. As Market Makers, or Maker-Takers receiving a rebate from the exchanges for providing liquidity, HFTs have become a major contributor to maintaining the liquidity of exchange activity against the Dark Pool venues which have for several years controlled the bulk of orders. Dark Pools are often delayed orders during the day, OR the large lot orders will fill before the market opens.

Using a Complete Data Set for Stock Pick Analysis includes using all data gathered after the market closes from every venue, since the Consolidated Data differs considerably from End-of-Day EOD exchange Close Data which is the closing data of the day.

Volume Bars provide considerable information beyond the “green is an up day, and red is a down day” in the basic courses for beginners. The length of the Volume Bar matters. Using a Moving Average or other subordinate indicator can help determine the average of Volume, which provides an easy visual reference.

NEVER truncate your Volume indicator. This is a mistake because the bars represent the total number of shares traded that day, and will provide many “indications” required to understand who controls Price on that day.

The chart example below has Volume to the upside that is above average, during the final low and bottoming phase of this Downtrend.

chart example showing volumes upside that is above average with a final low and bottoming phase - technitrader

The next day the stock moves with a huge point gain, a nice entry was set up the day before and since the stock ran rather than gapping, this was a good easy Swing Trade. The Volume Bars clearly indicated the bottom had accumulation intermittently, and the compression of Price before the HFTs also indicated a potential for an HFT run.

chart example with compression of price before hfts - technitrader

HFTs leave the easiest of all footprints to recognize. Most of the time these runs last less than one minute as the HFTs trade on the millisecond scale, moving 1000-3000 trade orders per second.

chart example showing hfts runs - technitrader

After the big HFT run, the price action is all Smaller Funds and Retail Traders chasing after the HFT. The gains are smaller, due to the use of Volume Weighted Average Price VWAP orders and Limit Orders. Volume declines from its extreme HFT highs but is still very high, as Professional Traders are also taking profits from the run up out of the bottom. Because smaller lots have less buying power, the run exhausts quickly and profit taking takes over.

detailed chart showing runs turing into sideways patterns - technitrader

As Volume falls below its average the stock is forced into a sideways consolidation pattern, as profit takers sell and late Smaller Lot Buyers inadvertently using MACD are buying into the sideways pattern. 

complete chart example with surges of volume - technitrader

A surge of Volume initiates new Professional Trader activity. Then the stock runs up to test the bottom completion resistance level, with surges of Volume.

Summary
Volume Bars have far more information within their range fluctuations that most traders realize. Using a Complete Data Set for Stock Pick Analysis means learning to read Volume Bars accurately which takes practice. However the time is well spent as it will help Technical Traders enter a stock earlier, rather than too late for best profits.

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Trade Wisely,
Martha Stokes CMT
TechniTrader technical analysis using StockCharts charts, courtesy of StockCharts.com


Instructor & Developer of TechniTrader Stock and Option Courses

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Disclaimer: All statements are the opinions of TechniTrader, its instructors and/or employees, and are not to be construed as anything more than an opinion. TechniTrader is not a broker or an investment advisor; it is strictly an educational service. There is risk in trading financial assets and derivatives. Due diligence is required for any investment. It should not be assumed that the methods or techniques presented cannot result in losses. Examples presented are for educational purposes only.