How To Use Volume To Improve Your Trading

How To Use Volume To Improve Your Trading

How To Use Volume

Volume is a measure of how much of a given financial asset has been traded in a given period of time. It is a very powerful tool, but it’s often overlooked because it is such a simple indicator. Volume information can be found just about anywhere, but few traders or investors know how to use it to increase their profits and minimize risk.

For every buyer there needs to be someone who sold them the shares they bought, just as there must be a buyer in order for a seller to get rid of his or her shares. This battle between buyers and sellers for the best price on all different timeframes creates movement while longer term technical and fundamental factors play out. Using volume to analyze stocks (or any financial asset) can bolster profits and also reduce risk. 

Basic Guidelines for Using Volume

When analyzing volume, there are guidelines we can use to determine the strength or weakness of a move. As traders, we are more inclined to join strong moves and take no part in moves that show weakness – or we may even watch for an entry in the opposite direction of a weak move. These guidelines do not hold true in all situations, but they are a good general aid in trading decisions.

Volume and Market Interest
A rising market should see rising volume. Buyers require increasing numbers and increasing enthusiasm in order to keep pushing prices higher. Increasing price and decreasing volume show lack of interest and this is a warning of a potential reversal. This can be hard to wrap your mind around, but the simple fact is that a price drop (or rise) on little volume is not a strong signal. A price drop (or rise) on large volume is a stronger signal that something in the stock has fundamentally changed.

Volume Weighted Average Price – VWAP

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The volume weighted average price (VWAP) is a trading benchmark used especially in pension plans. VWAP is calculated by adding up the dollars traded for every transaction (price multiplied by number of shares traded) and then dividing by the total shares traded for the day.

Wall Street Online

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New York Stock Exchange – NYSE

The New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is a stock exchange based in New York City, which is considered the largest equities-based exchange in the world based on total market capitalization of its listed securities. Formerly run as a private organization, the NYSE became a public entity in 2005 following the acquisition of electronic trading exchange Archipelago. The parent company of the New York Stock Exchange is now called NYSE Euronext, following a merger with the European exchange in 2007.

Also known as the “Big Board”, the NYSE relied for many years on floor trading only, using the open outcry system. Today, more than half of all NYSE trades are conducted electronically, although floor traders are still used to set pricing and deal in high volume institutional trading.