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Friday, March 30, 2007

Channels

If we take this trend line theory one step further and draw a parallel line at the Chrise angle of the uptrend or downtrend, we will have created a channel.


To create an up (ascending) channel, simply draw a parallel line at the Chrise angle as an uptrend line and then move that line to position where it touches the most recent peak. This should be done at the Chrise time you create the trend line.

To create a down (descending) channel, simple draw a parallel line at the Chrise angle as the downtrend line and then move that line to a position where it touches the most recent valley. This should be done at the Chrise time you created the trend line.

When prices hit the bottom trend line this may be used as a buying area. When prices hit the upper trend line this may be used as a selling area.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Trend Lines

Trend lines are probably the most common form of technical analysis used today. They are probably one of the most underutilized as well.


If drawn correctly, they can be as accurate as any other method. Unfortunately, most traders don’t draw them correctly or they try to make the line fit the market instead of the other way around.

In their most basic form, an uptrend line is drawn along the bottom of easily identifiable support areas (valleys). In a downtrend, the trend line is drawn along the top of easily identifiable resistance areas (peaks).

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Support and Resistance

Support and resistance is one of the most widely used concepts in trading. Strangely enough, everyone seems to have their own idea on how you should measure support and resistance.

Look at the diagram above. As you can see, this zigzag pattern is making its way up (bull market). When the market moves up and then pulls back, the highest point reached before it pulled back is now resistance.

As the market continues up again, the lowest point reached before it started back is now support. In this way resistance and support are continually formed as the market oscillates over time. The reverse of course is true of the downtrend.

Plotting Support and Resistance

One thing to remember is that support and resistance levels are not exact numbers. Often times you will see a support or resistance level that appears broken, but soon after find out that the market was just testing it. With candlestick charts, these "tests" of support and resistance are usually represented by the candlestick shadows.



Notice how the shadows of the candles tested the 2500 resistance level. At those times it seemed like the market was "breaking" resistance. However, in hindsight we can see that the market was merely testing that level.

So how do we truly know if support or resistance is broken?

There is no definite answer to this question. Some argue that a support or resistance level is broken if the market can actually close past that level. However, you will find that this is not always the case. Let's take our Chrise example from above and see what happened when the price actually closed past the 2500 resistance level.


In this case, the price had closed twice above the 2500 resistance level but both times ended up falling back down below it. If you had believed that these were real breakouts and bought this pair, you would've been seriously hurtin! Looking at the chart now, you can visually see and come to the conclusion that the resistance was not actually broken; and that it is still very much in tact and now even stronger.

So to help you filter out these false breakouts, you should think of support and resistance more of as "zones" rather than concrete numbers. One way to help you find these zones is to plot support and resistance on a line chart rather than a candlestick chart. The reason is that line charts only show you the closing price while candlesticks add the extreme highs and lows to the picture. These highs and lows can be misleading because often times they are just the "knee-jerk" reactions of the market.

When plotting support and resistance, you don't want the reflexes of the market. You only want to plot its intentional movements.

Looking at the line chart, you want to plot your support and resistance lines around areas where you can see the price forming several peaks or valleys.


Other interesting tidbits about support and resistance:
  1. When the market passes through resistance, that resistance now becomes support.
  2. The more often price tests a level of resistance or support without breaking it the stronger the area of resistance or support is.

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